Here are a few events that were received too late for inclusion in our print issue.
Tucson Association of Realtors
2445 N. Tucson Blvd.
Community Homeownership Fair. The fair includes recources for first-time homebuyers, sellers, investors, owners looking to refinance and Spanish-speaking members of the community. Interactive workships, free food and door prizes will be offered. Free. Call 440-7126 for info.
Concempt MOCA Space
174 E. Toole Ave.
Open House. In celebration of the Museum of Contemporary Art's selection as a participant in The Warhol Initiative, MOCA will host an open house. Includes music by DJ Corbin Dooley, refreshments, "The Wonderful Ice Cream Truck" by Ruben Moreno, discounts on MOCA memberships and more. Free. Visit www.moca-tucson.org for info.
La Indita Restaurant
622 N. Fourth Ave.
A Cultural Evening. A benefit dinner and musical evening for DEPIIN, an indigenous development organization in Sonora, Mexico. Features music by Bwiya Toli, and a meal of vichyssoise, chicken with mushrooms, salad, peach cobbler, horchata or Jamaican beverages. Tickets are available at the restaurant or by calling 903-1606. $20 per person. RSVP. Seating is limited.
Tucson Convention Center
260 S. Church St.
Job Fair. A job fair will be held with representatives from AT&T, Cox Communications, SCF Arizona, Spherion, Sargent and other companies. Free workshops will be held. Visit www.jobing.com for info.
Longtime readers of this blog know that in the blog's early days--like, say, this time last year--I often had a field day mocking the Star editorial page's "Thorns and Flowers" feature.
Well, I haven't mocked "Thorns and Flowers" much lately, because after a while, making fun of something so pathetic starts to seem, well, pathetic in and of itself.
But I can't help but note that "Thorns and Flowers" has completely freaking lost it: The Star has gone out on a limb the size of a thimble to give a thorn to the Easy Bake Oven—twice in the last four days, on the paper's Web site Saturday and again today.
Oh. My. God. Let's read, shall we?
A thorn to the Easy Bake oven and its parent company, Hasbro Inc., for needing to recall the beloved toy for the second time in less than a year.
The Associated Press reported in Friday's Star that Hasbro recalled 985,000 of the toys in February and offered a free repair kit.
However, the company has received an additional 249 reports of children's injuries since the first recall. The company wants all owners to exchange the ovens for a Hasbro product voucher.
While the company seems to be trying to address safety concerns, the oven has been around for 40 years. A rational person would think the safety kinks would have been worked out.
For more information, oven owners can call 1-800-601-8418 or go online to www.easybake.com or www.cpsc.gov.
The Star may make the argument that they ran this--twice!--in an effort to get the word out about the recall, lest children get hurt. But, lord, the Opinion page is not the place for this.
Real opinion pages take principled stands, run engaging columnists and try to shape a community. They don't stutter about Easy Bake Ovens.
What headlines will you miss?
Last week, state Rep. Jonathan Paton filed papers for an exploratory committee to prepare for a run for the state Senate seat in District 30 in 2008. Paton, who is in his second term in the House, can’t come right out and say he wants the job, because Arizona law would require him to resign if he announces before January.
Incumbent District 30 Sen. Tim Bee, now serving as Senate president, is being forced out by term limits and is expected to challenge Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords next year. That pesky resign-to-run law also prevents him from announcing his plans, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see Bee announcing an exploratory committee of his own in the near future.
The other member of the District 30 delegation, state Rep. Marian McClure, has hit her term limit in the House, but rather than face Paton in a primary for the Senate seat, she’s considering a run for the Arizona Corporation.
That leaves two empty House seats in District 30. Among the Republicans considering a run:
• Sharon Collins, who has previously run for the Legislature and mayor of Tucson. Collins now works for the Arizona Department of Education.
• Frank Antenori, a former Green Beret who unsuccessfully sought the GOP nomination for the District 8 congressional seat last year. Antenori now works for Raytheon.
• Knothead David Gowan, who works as a Sierra Vista magazine distributor. Gowan, a two-time loser who has relentlessly battered McClure in his previous unsuccessful bids for the District 30 office (in one debate, he accused her of supporting “sodomy”), is as conservative as they come, except when it’s financially advantageous to him to take government money; he’s happily accepted bundles of Clean Elections dollars.
• Doug Sposito, a Sonoita-area homebuilder who also sought a House seat in 2004.
More in next week's Skinny!
The folks at the Loft Cinema just informed us that two films will not be shown this week. Corrections have been made on our Web site.
The Loft is located at 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. Call 795-7777 for a complete schedule.
For this week's feature, Saxon Burns and I--along with our plucky dive team--toured some of Tucson's finest bars, including The Buffet, the Mint, The Bambi, Nancy's Fort Lowell Pub, Gilligan's, the Shelter and the Meet Rack. Along the way, we found God, undead zombies and a very nasty drink called Jekyll and Hyde.
We're sure we missed some of your favorite dives, but we're planning on doing more reviews in the future. So, Tucson: What are the best bars in this dusty cowtown, and why do you like 'em?
Here are a few events that were received too late for inclusion in our print issue.
Old Pueblo Auditorium
5100 W. Ina Road, Building 8
Archaeological Evidence of Women on the Spanish Frontier. Dr. Rebecca J. Waugh will discuss how the archaeological record at historical sites helps us understand how different subgroups of society may have contributed to the culture. Free. Call 798-1201 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for info.
Friends in Deed
301 W. Camino Casa Verde, Green Valley
Democratic Women in Action Ice Cream Social. Speakers will discuss a recent court decision regarding the integrity of the voting process. $5 donation. Call 625-9039 or 648-5877 for info.
Main Gate Square
1 University Blvd.
Almost Free Friday. The Retro Rockets will perform. Other events include a public participation mural, the Ben's Bells Project and discounts and special events from local merchants.
Joel D Valdez Main Library
101 N. Stone Ave., lower level
Pima Cultural Plan. Join Tucson Pima Arts Council and Bill Bulick to review the Pima Cultural Plan draft. Visit www.pimaculturalplan.org for more info.
In my Noshing Around column this week (July 19), I mention some restaurants that have recently closed such as Evangelo's, Metro Grill at Park Place, Famous Sam's on 29th Street, and Apple Farm & Bakery.
Because my column is limited for space, I wanted to comment further—but more importantly, I wanted your comments.
I was pounding the keyboard looking for some statistics about restaurant closings, but all I could find were growth numbers on the Arizona Restaurant & Hospitality Association. I believe the general rule of thumb is that 50 percent of restaurants fail within the first year; that's an incredible investment and risk.
Sometimes I can walk in a restaurant, look at the menu, have a less-than-inspired meal along with mediocre service, and know that it won't be around for another year. I walk out wondering: What were they thinking?
Evangelo's has been around for a long time as a westside bastion. Maybe it had something to do with the freeway closing and lack of access; maybe it was just old and tired.
Don't get me started on anything Metro Restaurant-related. In 2003, Metro Grill at Park Place got a good review but fast-forward four years, and it's run out of steam. Have tastes changed that much? Has quality taken a dive?
As for Famous Sam's on 29th Street, according to an article in the Star, the owner said the smoking ban has hurt business, but other Famous Sam's seem to be thriving, so who knows?
The Apple Farm and Bakery at Grant Road and First Avenue was an odd duck. From the outside, it looked like a check cashing place—garish, big and yellow with red trim. Although it looked like a chain, it was not. It was owned by a guy who had recently moved to Tucson from Riverside, Calif. There, he owned another restaurant by another name. Why he named it the Apple Farm and Bakery is unknown, as Tucson is not known for its apples. I went in there once a few years ago at noon and was the only person inside. I am amazed that it lasted as long as it did.
I forgot to mention that Alejandro's closed. It was where DaVinci's used to be. It served Italian and Mexican food. I had not been there; I don't know why: It didn't last a year. Now the family-owned Las Cazuelitas will be going into that spot. They already have locations on south Sixth Avenue and Grant Road just west of the freeway.
So, let's talk about why restaurants close. Will you miss any of these restaurants? What's important to you when you dine out?