Friday, 18 August 2017 00:00

SINE DIE

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What? If you don't know what sine die means don't worry you aren't alone, neither does the majority of the population but these words are very important when they are tied to the Arizona State Legislature. Merriam-Webster defines sine die as "without any future date being designated (as for resumption.) When the Arizona State Legislature adjourns, or ends, sine die it means that this is the end of the legislative session. Once the legislative session ends the laws that have been decided during that legislative session will go into effect 90 days after the session adjourns. Since the legislature adjourned in May, this means all the new laws are now in effect. To learn more about the laws that were passed visit the Arizona State Legislatures website.  
Friday, 04 August 2017 00:00

SNOOZE YOU... WIN?

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August means students will be dusting off their alarm clocks or turning on their forgotten alarm apps and heading back to school. The joy of sleeping in on a weekday will come to an end, or will it? A debate has waged for years about whether school should start after 8:30 a.m. Among those who are for the later start time is the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) who state that doing so "will align school schedules to the biological sleep rhythms of adolescents, whose sleep-wake cycles begin to shift up to two hours later at the start of puberty." AAP also states that on average a teenager needs to receive 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep a night, so a child whose natural sleep cycle started at 8:30 p.m. would change to a start time of 10:30 p.m. when he hit puberty and if he received the minimum 8.5 hours of required sleep wouldn't wake up until 7 a.m. That doesn't leave much travel time or anything else if school starts at 7:30 a.m. Adequate sleep would also reduce other side effects like depression and car accidents and overall increase the effectiveness of lessons. If you aren't tired then its just easier to pay attention. However, the opposing side states that late start times are unnecessary and that the reduction of artificial light, light from televisions, computers, tablets and phones, would have the same effect on our sleep/wake cycle. Parents who take their kids to school would also be greatly impacted by the later start times especially if they are unable to change their work hours. The California State Legislature may soon be providing us with a long awaited answer to this debate as a bill marches through the legislature. In time we will see what becomes of it and if any other state follows suit. Until then, there is always the snooze button.        
Friday, 28 July 2017 00:00

PURPLE BRINGS AWARENESS

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No, I am not talking about the purple ribbons used to raise awareness for domestic violence and abuse but the WiFi company, Purple, from Manchester, England who decided to see if anyone was paying attention to their contracts. We have all seen the long user agreements and skipped to the bottom where it says "I accept" without reading what exactly we agreeing too. Well, it turns out 22,000 people agreed to pick up animal waste, manually relieve sewer blockages and paint snail shells to brighten their existence as part of the “Community Service Clause” placed in their WiFi contract. The agreement also stated that anyone who read the contract and contacted the company informing them of such, would receive a prize. One resolute person did so. One out of 22,000 that is an unfathomable .000045%! While Purple does not plan to actually enforce the agreement they did successfully prove their point, we aren’t reading our user agreements and you never know what you could actually be signing away. Learn more about contracts here.
Wednesday, 19 July 2017 00:00

MONUMENTAL DESTRUCTION

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National monuments, it is a title that conveys something old and treasured, something that we will strive to preserve. However, four of Arizona's national monuments may be losing that status. Three Arizona congressmen are attempting to return four monuments back to state control and be able to have the state do with them as it sees fit. The congressmen argue that "the monuments have disrupted collaborative fish and wildlife management, prevented multiple-use on State Trust lands and puts national security at risk." The four monuments on the chopping block are the Vermillion Cliffs, Sonoran Desert, Ironwood Forest and the Grand Canyon-Parashant. All four places became national monuments in 2000.          
Thursday, 13 July 2017 00:00

21 TO SMOKE

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Over the decades a lot has changed about smoking it's: prevalent use, impact on health, the tools we use with it, even what we call it.  The once widely popular habit took a nose dive when people realized the harmful effects of smoking. The first lawsuit against cigarette manufactures started in the 1950s and people have been continuing to fight for protections from the tobacco industry ever since. This time the fight is coming from a group of local high school students who call themselves, DCrew more formally known as the Cochise County Youth Health Coalition. This group spread the word about the harmful effects of tobacco and asked for the buying age of tobacco to be raised form 18 to 21 in the Douglas, Arizona. DCrew was able to provide valuable statistics and information in April to the mayor who listened to their proposal and passed their recommendation on July 12th. Douglas is now the second city in Arizona, behind Cottonwood, to pass this new protection but we can bet they will not be last as the trend spreads through the state and across the nation.          
Tuesday, 04 July 2017 00:00

INDEPENDENCE DAY

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Fireworks, flags and a whole lot of red, white and blue are just a few things that you typically see on Independence Day. This year add a little civic fun with this Independence Day Crossword and see if you really know the reason we are celebrating. Check your answers by going here. If you would like to celebrate more traditionally by staying out late and shooting some fireworks check out our My Streets section to see the laws in your city. Happy 4th of July everyone!    
Friday, 30 June 2017 00:00

LAW STUDENTS IN DETENTION CENTERS

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The University of Arizona and Summit Law School have started a series of new classes that reach out to juvenile detention centers to speak with those detained about the law. However, it isn't just the legal process that they are working on, this program lets kids in detention centers know that these smart future lawyers were also children just like them. Many children in detention centers can't imagine themselves going to college, let alone law school but during their time together the kids going through the system get a chance to see they aren't so different from those who want to work in the system. These visits provide new opportunities and a fresh point of view for all individuals involved and now the law schools are hoping to bring this great program to other law schools across the country. To see the promotional video for this program click here.        
Tuesday, 20 June 2017 00:00

TRADEMARKS CAN BE OFFENSIVE!

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Trademarks can be offensive according the United States Supreme Court! Yesterday, the highest court in the nation decided the Matal v. Tam case, which asked whether a band with an offensive name had a right to make their name a trademark. The disparagement clause, a law against insulting or offensive language, in the Patent and Trademark Office had led the office to deny the trademark and the case had worked its way all the way up to the top Court. The Court however ruled that First Amendment allowed for the name to be trademarked. Justice Alito gave this reasoning for the ruling;" The disparagement clause violates the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause. Contrary to the Government’s contention, trademarks are private, not government speech...This Court exercises great caution in extending its government-speech precedents, for if private speech could be passed off as government speech by simply affixing a government seal of approval, government could silence or muffle the expression of disfavored viewpoints." Freedom of speech is our best known rights that allows us to express ourselves how we choose but the government isn't granted this right and must watch its language. Now, people who wish to trademark a distinctive sign, design, symbol, or expression for their music group, sports team, company etcetera may do so without the worry of the government dampening their freedom of expression.    
Tuesday, 13 June 2017 00:00

THE CONSEQUENCES: WHEN VIRTUAL MEETS REALITY

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In the "Age of Technology" its sometimes hard to remember that the things that we do virtually can have a real impact on our actual lives. Several would-be Harvard students recently learned this lesson the hard way when their college acceptance offers were rescinded based on offensive posts made on their social media accounts. For many, the idea that a school would refuse admittance based on a meme posted by a potential student may be shocking; but it shouldn't be. After all, when you apply for a job one of the first things that your future employer will do is look you up and that includes Googling you and reviewing your social media accounts. To protect yourself take the advice of Luvvie Ajayi; "You can still show the most colorful, funny side of who you are, without embarrassing your family’s good name. But if you wouldn’t want something you posted to end up on a jumbotron in Times Square, DO NOT POST IT."
Friday, 09 June 2017 00:00

CAMP O'CONNOR

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As the week ends so does the successful conclusion of Camp O'Connor, a free week-long summer program for accepted middle school students. Students gathered at the Sandra Day O'Connor Institute to improve their civic knowledge and leadership skills. To see some of the festivities and learn more about the program head over to their LawforKids Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/LawforKids/.
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