October 12, 2008

Thorns & Flowers

A flower to Tucson Symphony Orchestra for its chart- topping CD.

The Star's Cathalena E. Burch reported Thursday that the disc, "Andre Mathieu: Piano Concerto No. 4," with French-Canadian pianist Alain Lefevre, released in the United States on Sept. 30, is the first-ever recording of a long-lost concerto by French-Canadian composer Mathieu.

The CD is at the top of the Canadian classical-music charts and in the United States it is No. 2 behind violinist Joshua Bell's "Vivaldi's Four Seasons" in the traditional classical category and and fifth in overall classical category, Burch reported.

The immediate success of the CD is a testament to the strength and vitality of our community's symphony.

And, we're hoping conductor George Hanson will need to find a spot for a Grammy on his mantel.

A Thorn to the Department of Interior. Its Bureau of Land Management is giving 15-day notice of its plan to rescind a regulation that allows congressional committees to remove public lands from mining, timbering and other activities.

The House Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee have rarely used their right to withdraw lands to give Congress time to decide if permanent protection is needed.

Our educated guess is that the BLM is reacting to the House committee's decision this year to halt uranium mining on public lands adjacent to Grand Canyon National Park.

Rep. Raul Grijalva, who chairs the House committee, said in a statement, "Instead of giving Congress time to consider how to protect . . . (the canyon) the department is choosing instead to rush this regulation through, giving the public almost no time to comment."

Flowers to three Tucson-area teachers who have been chosen by the Arizona Educational Association as finalists for 2009 ***24***Arizona Teacher of the Year. They are: Becca Hughes, an English language development teacher at La Cima Middle School in the Amphitheater School District; Manuel Chavez, who teaches sixth grade at Avenue B Elementary School in San Manuel; and Brian MacKenzie, a history teacher at Patagonia Union High School.

Originally published by JOSH BRODESKY, ARIZONA DAILY STAR.

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