Press

You can find the most recent press releases related to Brian Hewlett LLC, our divisions, our partners, our projects or Dr. Brian Hewlett here. For information on any subject contained within the releases, contact publicrelations@brianhewlett.com or address inquiries to the correspondents provided..

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Minneapolis the setting for new Dramatic Comedy Co-Created, Co-Written, Co-Produced, and Co-Directed by Dr. Hewlett and Kyle Wagner

MINNEAPOLIS, MN: One of the long standing arguments in the television and film production industry is whether overall costs to produce a project when wages, management, and equipment expenses are influenced by the presence of unions and/or trade groups is often more than when they are less involved or not at all a part of the picture. Although there is little data out there offering number for number comparisons, the conventional wisdom is that unions/trade groups have minimum pay amounts, specific work hour periods, required meals and break times, and penalties to producers for breaking those rules. Conventional wisdom also dictates that these organizations do not have provisions for waiving salary minimums for low-budget independent film/television making and hence union crews will require significantly larger budgets than their nonunion counterparts. All of these issues play a part in determining where the eventual location of a film/video project will ultimately by located for shooting.

Dr. Hewlett and Kyle Wagner based the script for the Pilot of Hallowed Harmony on an actual experience that Kyle had one evening in downtown Minneapolis so they naturally felt the city should be the first choice for the actual location for the comedy series. The perfect fit of Minneapolis-St. Paul as a location was confirmed even more so when the two did some research on how the location matched with the script that calls for two sets of main characters that are introduced to viewers as reincarnations of Jesus and a few of the Apostles converging on a fictitious sculpture garden that sits in the middle of downtown Minneapolis where they experience what they believe to be divine conversations that lead them back into their current lives trying to fix personal problems that are unknowingly related to unfinished business of their former lives that plays an important role in their community activism. This location research led to the uncovering of a history of family farming with the same name as two of the characters, a nearby college with the same name as the birth place of three of the characters, along with restaurants, and fish markets and other establishments that serendipitously fit into the script that is very much about serendipity.

Beside the fact that Minneapolis-St. Paul has some uncanny locations that match up with the narratives and context associated with the previous Apostolic incarnations of the main characters written into the first season script, the metropolitan area and the state of Minnesota has a number of other attractive qualities that serve as incentive to produce the educational dramatic comedy series there. Minneapolis has a large and growing independent radio, film and video arts community, which will aid in the effort to keep costs low for the production, when it begins. Costs for the production have the potential to be significantly less since negotiating without the influence of unions is the standard there. Since there are no requirements as there are elsewhere in places like New York or Hollywood, the production has a better chance of acquiring the cooperative independent agents needed to accomplish the full scale of production, given the agents have a wider range of possibilities that can be used in the negotiations of their contributions. One of the biggest benefits of this wider negotiation potential is that equity can be used in the negotiation process thereby allowing the Hallowed Harmony Executive Production Team to independently contract and license services, which allows them to maintain ownership of their products and gain greater shares of the profit potential as well. With the availability of shooting spaces like Acme Stage, Artist Collectives, surrounding municipalities with film and television production incentives, and several local businesses very willing to offer their spaces as production locations, the Twin Cities metro area presents itself as a very cost effective option that is full of potential production partners, episode sponsors, and talent eager to join the collective experience that the Hallowed Harmony Producers have to offer.

The city of Minneapolis and other municipalities in the state of Minnesota offer financial incentives for filming there. Hewlett and Wagner argue that this incentive that often comes in large sums and with a captivated media community currently seeking independent projects is a big additional benefit to producing the show in Minneapolis and in other parts of the state. The Minnesota Film & TV reports that the film and television producing industry of the state is actively seeking new productions especially those that will be continuously produced there and hence continue to contribute to an ailing job economy relative to this occupational sector. The state of Minnesota and the diverse local small business oriented cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are communities with long standing histories of supporting independent business ventures including television and film productions. Since the overall numbers of television and film productions started and/or completed in the state of Minnesota has fallen off since the 1990s, producing a television series in the area creates an ideal environment and opportunity for outside Investors to capitalize on a high quality, cost effective production, with a storyline based on local events and organizations that highlights the areas locations and social demographic. Other areas north and east of Minneapolis offer financial incentives for production as well and the Producer duo state they are looking at those areas for filming as well.

A final thrust to make Minneapolis-St. Paul the location was finding out that the targeted Executive Producer, who at this time can not be announced but is the surviving brother of a contemporary Philosopher whose work serves as a large motivator in the pilot episodes, first season, and overall script, was a resident and part time professor at the University of Minnesota. When the two got their first chance to sit down with him, they both agreed “What more could they have asked for?”

So look for more information about Hallowed Harmony in the near future in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Twin Cities area soon. As more news about its production continues to come forth, there will surely be growing opportunity for artists and independent production professionals who represent this very diverse and thriving arts and entertainment culture that has failed to see very few, if any, full length series productions of this magnitude be produced in the city since the turn of the millennium. It is the hope of Hewlett and Wagner that they can help change all that.

#####

Release Date: November 11, 2015

For further information contact Kyle Wagner at kaos@shroomgarden.net or Brian Hewlett at life@shroomgarden.net

Jesus And The Apostles Resurrected In New Minneapolis “Dramedy”

MINNEAPOLIS, MN: Hallowed Harmony Shroom Garden is an original series that is currently seeking the funding needed to begin production in Minneapolis in 2018. The educational dramatic comedy will be cooperatively produced by a Minneapolis based production team in conjunction with a Denver based marketing and promotions team. Not only will the series that features modern incarnations of Jesus and the Apostles be produced by a local production house on cooperation with newly formed Conscious Universe Productions Public Benefit Corporration, but the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area will be the on-screen location of their comical fictional adventures and the home of a metaphorical Garden of Gethsemane that serves as the point of their mystical and serendipitous convergence.

Hallowed Harmony, the first television comedy to be filmed on location in Minneapolis since Mary Richards moved there in the 1970’s on the Mary Tyler Moore Show, is slated to be released in three stages across three different platforms. The first stage will involve a release of pre-production material that includes content designed for the series’ crowd funding campaigns and six web shorts designed to offer a glimpse into the lives of main characters and used as trailers for marketing purposes. The second stage involves the release of the first season, which the creators hope will be picked up by a mainstream cable network or online movie channels. The first season is designed to be produced as ten episodes in the 60-minute comedy-drama format, which tends to be more dramatically based with humor used throughout the show either as comic relief or to punctuate certain scenes. The third stage plans involve a release of the first season and extra material on a DVD after the series is released via mainstream media.

The dramedy’s co-creators are Kyle Wagner, a Minneapolis native and Brian Hewlett, a Denver based College Instructor and Psychologist. They describe their dramatic comedy or “dramedy” brainchild as:

“A series of hysterical high jinks and hilarious happenings involving the most unassuming mob of modern day apostolic incarnations on a mystical mission that is carried out in one of the most unlikely diverse metropolitan municipalities.”

Viewers will be treated to an engaging narrative “based on true stories and stories that are believed to be true” that weave the everyday lives of modern incarnations of old New Testament heroes, who consciously assume no connection to their previous biblical personifications, together with an exciting but challenging late Terence McKenna and his surviving brother Dennis McKenna who is a current resident of St. Paul, fused with the results of work of other pharmacologist, psychologist, and consciousness related researchers and artists, those who find themselves watching multiple episodes will be immersed in a colorful, hopeful but sometimes dark world of struggles, successes, and failures facing a cast of characters with whom every modern day human can identify.

The characters that make up the Hallowed Harmony universe include a core group of spiritually and socially conscious security guards who engage with another core group of psychedelically conscious misfit activist friends seeking guidance in the their personal and community transcendence as the periodically visit a sculpture garden in downtown Minneapolis that they affectionately call “Shroom Garden.” The storyline chases both of these groups of unassuming Apostles as they find themselves helping to alter the consciousness and landscape of their already progressive Minneapolis-St. Paul society. Their story unfolds through intentional and serendipitous interactions that occur as a result of enlightening engagements thought to be with God during periodic visits to the fictional public Harmony Park Sculpture Garden.

Episodes of Hallowed Harmony will draw content from the research and literature of pharmacology, ethnobotony, psychology, environmental science, sustainable activism, and other bodies of knowledge in an effort to provide viewers with greater information about different aspects of psychedelic, spiritual, and sustainability consciousness and actual human psychological and physiological experience. Interpretive multi-media collaborations incorporated into particular episodes will give local and international featured artists a chance to express their interpretation of transcendent experiences as they relate to social issues that are rarely addressed in the
mainstream media. Scenes related to altered consciousness and other psychedelic attributes will be handed over to artists to create unique interpretive worlds for viewers to experience from one episode to the next using state-of-the art editing and other technologies.

By applying scientific knowledge and contemporary interpretations to relevant and current social issues through the lens of psychedelic and spiritual experiences, the series creators, Kyle Wagner and Brian Hewlett, hope to establish an alternative dialogue around what has previously been considered socially deviant and unhealthy. Within their structure of satirical fiction coupled with various genres of humor. They see the potential for renewed dialogue that can help transform normative attitudes toward behaviors that are fastly becoming more and more normal.

Hallowed Harmony is poised to be one of the most cerebral funny artistic alternative approaches yet to helping people navigate their social consciousness while learning potential ways of offering help to their ailing communities. The best part is, in the eyes of the world, it will all be happening in the heart of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

#####

Release Date: October 15, 2015

For further information contact Kyle Wagner at kaos@shroomgarden.net or Brian Hewlett at life@shroomgarden.net

Dr. Hewlett partners with Kyle Wagner to start Conscious Universe Productions PBC

DENVER, CO: In May of this year Dr. Brian Hewlett, Founder and C.E.O. of Brian Hewlett LLC, teamed with Kyle Wagner, a multi-media model, entrepreneur, founder of K.E.W. Entertainment, and long time community activist in the Minneapolis-St. Paul community, to work on a television project. Out of this collaboration came the announcement that they have united to establish Conscious Universe Productions (CUP), a Public Benefit Corporation focused on the fact that every minute of the day there is someone with a great idea that could play a major role in helping to raise the consciousness of their community, their nation, or the planet but often that idea falls by the wayside because they don’t have the resources to get that idea heard. CUP also knows that media is one of the best ways to get an idea illustrated, making it easier to be heard and understood in the shortest amount of time. That is why their goal is to garner resources collaboratively to assist in the production of media project ideas that have the potential to impact human consciousness by raising awareness in some way. Brian and Kyle envision that through the coming together of community partners who have resources to produce media, these project ideas can be afforded a once in lifetime chance to get some promotional or initial media produced, which can be an invaluable asset in getting the project heard and seen by important people who can make the overall project become the reality of the dream that only it’s conceiver experiences at it’s conception.

Conscious Universe Productions is being established as a Public Benefit Corporation in the state of Minnesota so that . Public Benefit Corporations in Minnesota are intended to operate in a responsible and sustainable manner and have a corporate purpose to promote one or more public benefits, which must be described in its articles of incorporation.

Hewlett and Wagner tout CUP’s public benefit as insuring avenues for media arts from and to the public. They point out that even with increases in local and state funding and the uncertain future of federal funding, the opportunity for the general public to obtain funding that will cover the cost of the of their local grass roots media arts projects is minimal due to the ever-changing and unpredictable nature of the cost of production. Although the American Association of Advertising Agency ceased publishing its annual report on the average cost of a 30 second commercial spot, which neatly divided music and post­production average costs by category and industry and included extra editorial in 2011, the last one tallied showed the average costs at $354,000, which hadn’t changed much in 10 years. At costs hovering around $350,000 as indicated here and the opportunity structure for achieving funding tightening, a corporation with the mission of pulling together media and arts professionals to cooperatively contribute to the production of local and grass roots media projects attempting to raise awareness and public consciousness about important issues that impact the sustaining of their lives and communities should be a welcomed entity.

CUP’s business plan calls for establishment of a collective of independent professionals and organizations from different sectors of radio, sound, television, film and internet production to form a board to review community media project proposals or projects that are in early stages of production for their potential selection to be the motivation for the collective team to come together to produce some initial component that can be used to promote the project to the industry. The production collective will combine their resources to produce commercial spots, teaser trailers, pilot episodes, animations, prequels and character building shorts that with the backing of CUP project creators can shop to movie houses, televisions studies, streaming networks, and other production and distribution agencies.

#####

Release Date: August 21, 2015

For further information contact Conscious Universe Production at info@concsiousuniverseproductions.com or visit Conscious Universe Productions on the web.

Brian Hewlett LLC reorganizes and moves divisions to Denver, Colorado

TUCSON, AZ: Established and in good standing in the state of Arizona, Brian Hewlett LLC is a consulting company in North America that prescribes to a non-traditional cooperative business model which encourages resource sharing and knowledge collaboration among various entities to achieve goal oriented results. With a focus mostly on business assistance, various types of education, and a variety of entertainment, the company also works to accomplish goals in various markets and communities across the U.S. using a guidelines that lead to sustainable end results.

Based on the decision to diversify operations into four different divisions, Brian Hewlett LLC will be establishing an educational division doing business as L.I.F.E. Lessons, which will facilitate speaking engagements and develop workshops and training curricula for various clients. LTB Booking & Promotions will do business as a second division that helps facilitate talent booking and relations between artist venues and other entities along with the creation of promotional materials and marketing plans for music and visual artists. Brian Hewlett LLC will also do business as Wild Wild West Festivals, which will serve as the division that plans and manages small, medium, and large scale events that investors have the opportunity to help cooperatively produce. Finally, Brian Hewlett LLC will do business as itself when performing business consulting of any kind.

The business plan calls for Wild Wild West Festivals to establish headquarters in the Trinidad, which is in Southern Colorado just north of the New Mexico Border as it works to create another event dedicated to the celebration of Drop City, Colorado’s first “sustainable eco-village” that was established in that area in the 1960’s. The LTB Booking &
Promotions division will do business primarily out of the Denver area along with the other divisons.

#####

Release Date: January 17, 2015

For further information contact Brian Hewlett LLC at info@brianhewlett.com or visit Brian Hewlett LLC on the web.

AZ Wild Wild West Fest (Review)

See KAMP Radio Review Here

#####

Release Date: May 4, 2014

For further information contact KAMP Student Radio at gm@kamp.arizona.edu or visit KAMP Radio on the web.

Catch the JGB Band at the Wild Wild West Fest in AZ

See Grateful Web Article Here

#####

Release Date: February 12, 2014

For further information contact Grateful Web at info@gratefulweb.com or visit Grateful Web on the web.

Stanley Jordan, Melvin Seals & JGB Set for Wild Wild West Fest

See Jambands.com Article Here

#####

Release Date: February 9, 2014

For further information contact Jambands.com at www.jambands.com/contact-us/ on the web.

Brian Hewlett LLC’s LTB Booking & Promotions division partners with Desert Dream LLC to produce Arizona Wild Wild West Festival

TUCSON, AZ: Established and in good standing in the state of Arizona, Brian Hewlett LLC is a consulting company in North America that prescribes to a non-traditional cooperative business model which encourages resource sharing and knowledge collaboration among various entities to achieve goal oriented results. With a focus mostly on business assistance, various types of education, and a variety of entertainment, the company also works to accomplish goals in various markets and communities across the U.S. using a guidelines that lead to sustainable end results.

Desert Dream LLC was established in Tucson, Arizona to create and facilitate intentional, conscious, green, sustainable, transformational experiences that provide entertainment, artistry, and education while encouraging fellowship among members of specific communities, promoting collaboration across community groups, and fostering camaraderie across music genres and artistic mediums.

Desert Dream LLC has asked Brian Hewlett LLC dba LTB Booking and Promotions to assist with a new festival event to be held on April 25-27, 2014 at the Harmony and Health Ranch at Terrasante, a multi-stage venue built just southwest of the city of Tucson, Arizona.

The Wild Wild West Fest (WWWFest) Music Arts & Sustainability Festival is being billed as a fundraiser to benefit sustainable community programs and music and arts education in the southwestern U.S. that is produced by Desert Dream LLC and their partner The Harmony and Health Foundation (HHF), a registered 501(c)(3) organization that established its headquarters at Terrasante Community in April of 1984. The foundation uses donor funds to facilitate various programs for members of Terrasante and the Tucson communities including meditation intensives, alternative health programs, environmental initiative development, guest speakers, children’s environment education programs, Native American ceremonies, spiritual tours, intention, circles, assisted healing and healing gatherings, yoga therapy and individualized day retreats. The Harmony and Health Ranch was developed and constructed on a plot of the H & H Foundation land that was adjacent to the BLM Dispersed Camping Area west of Terrasante Village.

Organizers are touting the Wild Wild West Fest as an American Western Frontier themed celebration that focuses festival goers on what can be done in the desert southwest to bring awareness to sustainable lifestyles and the reduction of resource consumption. The theme reminds festival goers of the creation of new and defense of existing communities as the United States was being born, use of the land, cooperative production and commerce, and the formation of states that exist today. Together with the help of Terrasante Community Residents, the organizers are building a venue at Terrasante Village fashioned from repurposed materials that will hopefully serve as host to concerts, dances, and workshop events for larger audiences in the coming years.

LTB Booking & Promotions will be responsible for reserving national, regional, and local acts along with various Tucson favorite visual artists and vendors from all over the country that will offer attendees a diverse variety of performances and unique gifts. Equally diverse will be the sponsorships that will place many brands in front of hundreds of festival goers before, during, and after the event.

#####

Release Date: November 30, 2013

For further information contact Desert Dream LLC at info@desertdreamllc.com or visit the Harmony & Health Foundation on the web.

Professor fired from Pima Community College for offering religious memorial to January 8th Safeway Shooting Victims helps educate Occupy Tucson Movement

TUCSON, AZ: Dr. Brian Hewlett, a minister with no criminal record who was arrested for criminal trespassing as he offered his own personal memorial on February 25, 2011 at the Safeway where only 45 days before a tragic shooting occurred that wounded Representative Gabrielle Giffords, is volunteering to help educate the Occupy Tucson participants on the history, operations, and collective actions of social movements.

Dr. Hewlett, a graduate of the University of Arizona, was a professor of Sociology and Psychology at Pima Community College before he was removed from his duties in conjunction with his personal memorial, which took the form of meditative mantra prayer at the Safeway where the shooting took place.

Prior to and even after Dr. Hewlett’s arrest, the store allowed countless other individuals and groups from the Tucson and surrounding area to offer memorials for Giffords and the other shooting victims that involved personal prayers, gifts, cards, flowers and other tributes to the victims, including the flying of a 9/11 memorial flag.

Although the criminal charges have been dismissed by the court, Dr. Hewlett has neither been extended an apology from Safeway Corporation or offered his job back by Pima Community College.

Dr. Hewlett is offering a series of Teach-In Workshops for the Occupy Tucson participants that helps them to understand movement ideologies, grievances, strategies, tactics, and methods of mobilization, which he says “in turn, will help them to solidify their own” and “help the movement gain momentum.”

Occupy Tucson Teach-In Workshops are open to any member of the Tucson community and are held at the Occupy Tucson Camp at the Veinte de Agosto Park in downtown Tucson.

#####

Release Date: November 30, 2011

For further information on legal concerns, contact Vanessa Moss, Attorney for Dr. Brian Hewlett, via email at themosslawfirm@gmail.com or by telephone at (520) 388-1003.

Judge Dismisses Charges against Minister Arrested while Honoring Giffords and other Safeway shooting victims

TUCSON, AZ: Despite a statement to the press from Safeway management that the site of the January 8th shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and 15 other victims in front of one of their stores in Tucson would serve as a memorial indefinitely until a permanent memorial site is determined, Dr. Brian Hewlett, a Tucson minister and professor of Sociology and Psychology at a local college with no criminal record, was arrested on February 25, only 45 days after the tragedy occurred, as he was offering his own personal memorial.

Representative Gabrielle Giffords and 15 others victims were shot at the store where she was hosting “Congress on your Corner,” which is described by her website as a forum for residents of her district to “meet their congresswoman one-on-one and discuss with her any issue, concern, or problem involving the federal government.”

Prior to Dr. Hewlett’s arrest, the store had become a memorial for Giffords and the other shooting victims with countless individuals from Tucson and surrounding areas offering their personal prayers, gifts, cards, flowers and other tributes to the victims.

Despite this fact, Safeway had Dr. Hewlett arrested by the Pima County Sheriff and charged with 3rd degree trespassing.

The Pima County Prosecutor alleges that Dr. Hewlett violated the law because he remained on the privately operated property when he was asked to leave by a Safeway agent. The prosecution originally offered the minister a plea bargain of Mental Health Diversion, which effectively equates his religious behavior at the Safeway with serious clinical, developmental, and learning disorders. Dr. Hewlett’s attorneys turned down the plea bargain and filed motions to dismiss the charges on the grounds that, under the 1st Amendment, Dr. Hewlett was within his right to exercise free speech and religious expression since Safeway publicly accommodated and did not absolutely deny the public this right by inviting them to conduct political discourse and offer religious memorials at the site.

In the October 18th trial, prior to actually arguing any defense, Hewlett’s attorney asked the court to clarify the victim in the case in order to specify who was protected under the Arizona Victim’s Rights Act, which insures the victim the right to avoid testimony. The prosecution asked the court to include all parties associated with Safeway Corporation including employees and anyone with a contractual agreement in the victim definition. Pima County Justice of the Peace pro tem David Dingledine, disagreed with the State’s interpretation and stated that Safeway cannot expect to hide all of its employees and associates behind a “Corporate Veil,” thereby ordering the State to allow the store manager who had Hewlett arrested to be interviewed by the defense. After the State refused to cooperate, Judge Dingledine dismissed the case without prejudice.

When representatives for Dr. Hewlett were reached they stated they were happy with the decision and that “After almost 8 months of legal wrangling by the prosecution, a member of the greater Tucson community who only wanted to honor his neighbors as others did is finally cleared of any wrong doing.”

#####

Release Date: October 26, 2011

For further information, contact Vanessa Moss, Attorney for Dr. Brian Hewlett, via email at themosslawfirm@gmail.com or by telephone at (520) 388-1003.

Arguments Being Heard in the Case of Minister Arrested for Prayer at Safeway where Giffords was shot

TUCSON, AZ: Arguments will be presented Tuesday, October 18, 2011 concerning the trespassing charge leveled against a local minister who was praying at the Safeway where Gabrielle Giffords was shot.

On February 25, 2011 Dr. Brian Hewlett, then a professor at Pima Community College, was arrested for trespassing at the Safeway store in Cases Adobes where the shooting occurred. The store in question had become a memorial to the shooting victims with countless individuals from Tucson and surrounding areas offering their personal prayers, gifts, cards, flowers and other tributes to the victims.

According to the police report, Hewlett was praying while sitting in a yoga position when he was arrested. Safeway management stated before Dr. Hewlett’s arrest that the site would serve as a memorial indefinitely. Dr. Hewlett is the only person to have been arrested for offering a religious memorial in honor of the victims.

The Pima County Prosecutor’s Office offered Dr. Hewlett a plea bargain involving Mental Health Diversion, which effectively equates Dr. Hewlett’s religious behavior at the Safeway with serious clinical, developmental, and learning disorders. Dr. Hewlett’s attorneys turned down the plea bargain based on the fact that there is absolutely no evidence to suggest anything about his behavior other than it was synonymous with the responses of thousands of other community members to the same tragedy.

#####

Release Date October 16, 2011

Pima Community College falsifies reason for dismissing Professor arrested offering meditative memorial to Giffords and other Safeway Shooting victims

TUCSON, AZ: Despite a statement from Safeway management that the site of the January 8th shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and 15 other victims in front of the store at Ina & Oracle would serve as a memorial indefinitely until a permanent memorial site is determined, Dr. Brian Hewlett, a Tucson minister and Pima Community College Professor of Sociology and Psychology for 9 years was arrested on February 25, only 45 days after the tragedy occurred, as he was offering his own prayer at the Safeway.

Following a local news report falsely linking him to the alleged shooter, Jerod Lougher, who previously attended the college, PCC removed Dr. Hewlett from the Intro to Sociology course he was teaching that semester and later refused to allow him to return to the classroom and begin teaching the second course for which he was scheduled. When Hewlett attempted to determine from college officials why he was removed from his teaching position based on his personal religious actions, he was told the matter was closed and no further discussion would take place.

In the weeks following, on behalf of Hewlett, the Arizona Department of Economic Security, in association with an Unemployment Insurance claim, questioned PCC as to the reason for his dismissal. One official document shows PCC stating the reason for his separation as “lack of work” and another states his “contract ended,” neither of which were true since Dr. Hewlett was in the middle of teaching a class with a full roster at the Downtown Campus that was contracted and was scheduled to begin teaching another full class for the Desert Vista campus a week after his dismissal.

When Eileen Oakes, the PCC official, who signed one of the documents, was approached for an explanation as to why false information was provided, she stated that “The only thing I go by is what we have in the computer system.”

PCC public relations officials were not prepared to offer a statement on the matter when questioned.

When representatives for Dr. Hewlett were reached for comment they stated “We firmly believe Dr. Hewlett was wrongfully terminated based on his personal religious expression and his removal from class was a violation of his first amendment rights. Any false information provided to the Arizona Department of Economic Security by PCC can only be interpreted as an attempt to construe facts relative to the situation.”

#####

Release Date October 16, 2011

Attorney General’s Office Investigating Safeway and PCC for Discrimination in Arrest of Local Minister for Prayer at Safeway Where Giffords was shot

TUCSON, AZ: On February 25, 2011 Dr. Brian Hewlett, then a professor at Pima Community College, was arrested for trespassing while he prayed at the Safeway store in Cases Adobes where Gabriella Giffords was shot.

After the shooting countless individuals from Tucson and surrounding areas converged on the site to offer their personal prayers, gifts, cards and flowers. Despite a statement from Safeway management that the site would serve as a memorial indefinitely until a permanent memorial site is determined, Dr. Hewlett was arrested for trespassing while praying at the memorial.

Shortly thereafter, Dr. Hewlett was removed from class and released from his teaching position by PCC.

In relation to his arrest and his release, Dr. Hewlett has filed claims with the Attorney General’s Office alleging discrimination by both Safeway and PCC. The charges state that Safeway’s actions were discriminatory because they failed to accommodate Dr. Hewlett after doing so for the rest of the public. The claims also allege that PCC’s actions violated Dr. Hewlett’s right to religious expression.

The Attorney General’s Office has launched an investigation and is currently awaiting responses from both parties.

#####

Release Date October 16, 2011

Westboro Baptist Can Promote Hate but Local Minister Arrested for Prayer at Giffords Memorial

TUCSON, AZ: The Supreme Court of the United States ruled March 2nd of this year that the hate speech used by the Westboro Baptist Church of Kansas is protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The Church members led by their minister, Fred Phelps, who picket funerals of slain U.S. Soldiers with signs such as “God Hates Fags” and “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” have been at the center of much controversy. The decision was condemned by many as “outrageous” and “not common sense.”

Just six days prior to this decision by the highest court in the land to uphold the “sanctity of freedom of speech” Dr. Brian Hewlett, a minister, college instructor, and prominent citizen of the Tucson community was arrested for praying at a memorial for Gabrielle Giffords. Giffords and fifteen other people were shot on January 8th s at a local Safeway in the Cases Adobes area of the city.

The store became the site of a memorial for the shooting victims. Safeway officially allowed the store’s exterior to become a memorial site for the victims “indefinitely”, yet chose to arrest Dr. Hewlett as he engaged in prayer at the memorial site. Dr. Hewlett is the only person singled out for arrest by Safeway at the time of this writing.

While it was reported that he was chanting “We are the ones YOU have been waiting for,” Dr. Hewlett’s website and his legal counsel confirm the words of the mantra he was repeating were “We are the ones WE have been waiting for,” a phrase used by both the Elders of the Hopi Nation of Northern Arizona as a call for change and by the President of the United States in a campaign speech.

When contacted, a spokesperson for Dr. Hewlett stated that he believes that if people, such as the uninvited protesting members of the Westboro Baptist Church, are allowed to express hate at a site of mourning, then he, a member of the greater Tucson community, which was invited to that site for political discourse and the memorializing of the victims, should be allowed to express loving compassionate meditative prayers at a site of mourning without being accused of trespassing and hauled off to jail.

#####

Release Date: October 16, 2011

Leave a Reply