New SAAF Center for LGBTQ Youth to open in 2017

Date:            For Immediate Release, 1/10/2017
Contact:       Wendell Hicks,Executive Director
Ethan Smith Cox, Director of Development
(520) 547-6105
SAAF is very excited to announce its newest project to support the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community, the Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th- A SAAF Place for Youth. This project will create a dedicated space on 4th avenue which will house several of SAAF’s LGBTQ youth-centered prevention programs, including Eon, HIV Youth Peer Education (HYPE), and Arizona’s Life Links for Youth (Project ALLY). This newest initiative is being funded through a $1.8 million capital campaign which began in March 2016 and has raised more than $1.5 million, to date.
Curtis Thornhill, a Tucson native who now calls Salt Lake City “home”, has provided the lead gift for the campaign and has challenged SAAF to raise an additional $300,000 by the end of March 2017. Thornhill stated, “I was born in Tucson and grew up in southern Arizona. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the love and support of amazing mentors who have guided and challenged me to reach my full potential. The Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th is an opportunity to equip a new generation with the same gifts.”
The Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th will provide a safe space as well as skills-building, advocacy, and culturally competent care to LGBTQ youth and their allies ages 13-26. SAAF Executive Director Wendell Hicks, says, “Since taking over many initiatives from Wingspan, southern Arizona’s LGBTQ community center for more than a quarter century, 2 & ½ years ago, we here at SAAF have searched for the right way to re-launch LGBTQ programming in Tucson in a sustainable way that was directly responsive to community needs and immediately addressed gaps in services. The Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th will do just that. We are so fortunate for the support of Mr. Thornhill as well as the nearly 100 other donors to the campaign, so far.”
Members of the media are invited to an invitation-only groundbreaking event taking place on Tuesday January 24, 2017 at 4:00pm at the Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th, located at 526 North 4th Avenue. Mr. Thornhill and SAAF staff will be available for interviews prior to the event. Please contact Ethan Smith Cox, SAAF Director of Development, at (520) 547-6105, to schedule an interview time.
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Trump’s first act as president: declare war on the media and the truth

On his first full day in office, the always insecure egomaniac Twitter-Troll-in-Chief declared war on the media, and the truth. With False Claims, Trump Attacks Media on Turnout and Intelligence Rift:

President Trump used his first full day in office on Saturday to unleash a remarkably bitter attack on the news media, falsely accusing journalists of both inventing a rift between him and intelligence agencies and deliberately understating the size of his inauguration crowd.

In a visit to the Central Intelligence Agency intended to showcase his support for the intelligence community, Mr. Trump ignored his own repeated public statements criticizing the intelligence community, a group he compared to Nazis just over a week ago.

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He also called journalists “among the most dishonest human beings on earth,” and he said that up to 1.5 million people had attended his inauguration, a claim that photographs disproved.

Screen Shot 2017-01-23 at 6.40.11 AMAn estimated 1.8 million attended President Obama’s inauguration in 2009. Crowd scientists estimated that 160,00o people attended Trump’s inauguration.

By the way, the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday also was yuuuge compared to Trump’s puny little crowd. Crowd Scientists Say Women’s March in Washington Had 3 Times More People Than Trump’s Inauguration.

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The Festering Wound

Cross-posted from

First, let me be absolutely clear. I will applaud any modicum of success Donald Trump realizes as POTUS. It’s currently hard to envision, but if it does happen, I will give credit where credit is due. My bottom line is that I want our country to succeed and flourish.

Second, although I didn’t vote for him, I don’t believe President Trump is the worst threat to our democracy. He is just the most visible symptom…the metaphorical “pus” that oozes from the infected wound. Yes, part of reason he was elected is that middle America is tired of being ignored and wants change. I get that. I wish our system had offered them better choices. But, he was also propelled to victory because of the “bacteria” of racism and hatred, fed by the “talking heads” and Internet content of questionable veracity. Over time, this bacteria infected the wound, generating the “pus” which indicated a problem. Continue reading

Overcoming Dark Days: Three Possibilities

I hold no hope Trump will surprise us and govern rationally or benignly. The cast of characters he has nominated to high positions, the confrontational tone of his inaugural address, his flaming narcissism, and his hatred for those who dare criticize him tell us all we need to know. Matt Taibbi put it best:

So, you know, I think that, to me, is what really stood out about this last year, is Trump himself, he is just such a unique figure in our time. He’s kind of the perfect foil to reflect everything that’s excessive and vulgar and disgusting and tasteless and cheap and greedy about American culture. He is the perfect mirror to reflect everything about our society.

As Taibbi suggests, it’s not just Trump we need to fear. Those 62-odd million who voted for him scare the crap out of me.

It will get ugly. And overcoming the ugliness unavoidably will entail things getting even uglier in the short-term, a sacrifice I’m willing to see us make. Here are three hopeful scenarios I see as possibilities: Continue reading

Russia scandal: from ‘kompromat’ to cover up?

Could this be the real reason for President Trump’s visit to the CIA on Saturday? Trump, in CIA visit, attacks media for coverage of his inaugural crowds.

McClatchy News service reported last week that FBI, 5 other agencies probe possible covert Kremlin aid to Trump:

The FBI and five other law enforcement and intelligence agencies have collaborated for months in an investigation into Russian attempts to influence the November election, including whether money from the Kremlin covertly aided President-elect Donald Trump, two people familiar with the matter said.

The agencies involved in the inquiry are the FBI, the CIA, the National Security Agency, the Justice Department, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and representatives of the director of national intelligence, the sources said.

Investigators are examining how money may have moved from the Kremlin to covertly help Trump win, the two sources said. One of the allegations involves whether a system for routinely paying thousands of Russian-American pensioners may have been used to pay some email hackers in the United States or to supply money to intermediaries who would then pay the hackers, the two sources said.

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Political Calendar: Week of January 22, 2017

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Political Calendar for the Week of January 22, 2017:

Sunday, January 22: NFC Championship game 1:00 p.m. AFC Championship game 4:40 p.m.

Sunday, January 22, 3:00 p.m.: Marana Democrats meeting, at the home of Ralph Perillo.  For more information please contact Buddy Gill at or (408) 806-2036.

Sunday, January 22, 5:00 p.m.: Democrats of the Red Rocks Annual Membership Meeting, at St. Andrews Episcopal Church meeting hall, 100 Arroyo Pinion, Sedona. Pot luck, please bring a dish. For more information please contact (928) 274-6541 0r email

Sunday, January 22, 8:00 p.m.: Laughing Liberally Tucson returns to lampoon the national, state and local political scene. Come out and enjoy Tucson’s best and brightest comics as we try our best to save democracy…one laugh at a time. it’s FUN… it’s FREE… The Flycatcher, 340 E 6th Street (at 4th Avenue), Tucson. Usually the last Sunday every month.

Monday, January 23, Noon: Democrats of Greater Tucson luncheon, Dragon’s View Restaurant (400 N. Bonita, South of St. Mary’s Road between the Freeway and Grande Avenue, turn South at Furr’s Cafeteria). New price: buffet lunch is $10.00 cash, $12 credit; just a drink is $3.50. Featured speaker is Tim Sultan from SolarCity on rooftop solar. Next Week: Mike Holmes, former LD 14 House candidate.

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