Middle Eastern food offers a serious flavor blast, and what’s going on at the new Sahara Café and Hookah Lounge is a very delicious version of it. The chicken shawarma is so good it's almost unbelievable, and the kabobs—there are three kinds on the kabob combo platter—are gently-seasoned, soft and fragrant.
But it’s the little cups of super-potent garlic butter and the curious assortment of pickles served with some orders (one of the pickles was so pink that I verified its edibility prior to eating) that make the food tingle with its own electricity. Friends tell me these are the hallmarks of quality Lebanese cooking; my tastebuds tell me to fill my belly with it as often as possible.
As for the baklava and Turkish coffee, I want them three times a day, every day, for the rest of my life. And this is all after one meal, during the restaurant's first week in business, which is typically a shaky time for an eatery.
My stomach is so happy right now.
NBA blog The Basketball Jones has a four minute recap of what took six weeks of games to accomplish: the evil Miami Heat vs. the not quite as evil Dallas Mavericks tonight in game one of the NBA Finals.
The deadline is upon and the election season is set to officially begin: Tucson City Council and mayoral candidates must turn in their nominating petitions by 5 p.m. tomorrow.
Here’s how the races are shaping up so far:
Democrat Jonathan Rothschild filed his signatures on May 9. A potential primary opponent, Democrat Marshall Home, filed his signatures today, but is expected to face a legal challenge over his eligibility to run for mayor.
Republican Shaun McClusky has a 12:30 p.m. appointment at the Tucson City Clerk’s Office to turn in his signatures tomorrow. His Republican rival, Ron Asta, tells The Range today that he thinks he’ll have enough signatures to file, but he’s still collecting them to have a cushion in the case of a challenge.
Two Green Party candidates, Dave Croteau and Mary DeCamp, are preparing to file the necessary petitions to quality for the ballot.
Independent mayoral candidate Pat Darcy has set a 4 p.m. appointment to turn in his signatures tomorrow.
Democratic incumbent Councilwoman Regina Romero turned in her petitions on May 4. Her primary opponent, Democrat Joe Flores, turned in his nominating petitions last week.
It appears we’ve got a Green Party mayoral primary on our hands in Tucson.
Mary DeCamp, who ran for the Ward 3 City Council seat two years ago, jumped into the race for the Green Party nomination last week against Dave Croteau, who ran for mayor four years ago.
But don’t expect a lot of negative campaigning between the candidates.
Croteau says they’re the best of friends and sees this as an opportunity to get the media to cover a regular series of debates.
“It think it’s wonderful,” Croteau says. “We know that the media doesn’t cover candidates until there’s a contested race, either in the primary or the general.”
DeCamp agrees that the campaigns will be friendly. She points out that Croteau signed her nominating petition, while she signed Croteau’s nominating petition.
DeCamp says she decided to get into the race after noting that all the other candidates—Croteau, Democrats Jonathan Rothschild and Marshall Home, Republicans Shaun McClusky and Ron Asta, and independent Pat Darcy—are all men.
“There are no women in the race,” DeCamp says. “I believe that the masculine mindset has dominated for quite some time and it’s not getting us to a better place.”
Today in Tumblr sites that made me laugh at/weep for society, but I will likely forget about by tomorrow, presenting notracistbut.tumblr.com which collects Facebook posts including the phrase "not racist but..." by people who have clearly forgotten to change their privacy settings:
Bad news for Fort Huachuca: A federal court has ruled in favor of the Center for Biological Diversity and the Maricopa Audubon Society that the military must do more to protect the San Pedro River.
Here's the press release from the Center for Biological Diversity:
A federal judge has rejected the latest plan by the U.S. Army and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service aimed at preventing damage to the San Pedro River and its endangered species from groundwater pumping to serve Fort Huachuca and the Fort’s population in surrounding areas. In a ruling responding to a lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity and Maricopa Audubon Society, a federal judge said the Army and the Fish and Wildlife Service relied on a “legally flawed” plan that didn’t protect the San Pedro River and failed to properly analyze groundwater pumping’s effect on imperiled species such as the southwestern willow flycatcher and a plant called the Huachuca water umbel.
The Army and the Fish and Wildlife Service will now have to produce a new plan to protect the river from the Fort's deficit groundwater pumping.
The San Pedro is the Southwest's last surviving undammed desert river, threatened by local groundwater pumping that intercepts water that would ordinarily move from the aquifer seeping through the riverbanks to provide surface flow to the river. The annual local groundwater deficit, or overdraft, of the aquifer is now approximately 6,000 acre-feet per year and growing.
Democrat Marshall Home, who hopes to challenge attorney Jonathan Rothschild in the Democratic primary for mayor of Tucson, filed his campaign paperwork today.
In a brief interview, Home said he was in the race because of “all the lies and the deceits. How about all the thievery? There doesn’t seem to be any integrity in the government.”
Although he said he would be available for an interview later in the week, Home was not forthcoming about his claims to be a multi-billionaire.
“That’s private,” he said. “I’ve been described as a multi-billionaire. We’ll leave it at that. Why? You can’t accept it at that?”
Home has a major hurdle before he can get his name on the ballot: A lawsuit over his eligibility.
Jeff Rogers, chairman of the Pima County Democratic Party, said operatives are already gathering the necessary information to prove in court that Home is ineligible to run because he doesn’t fulfill residency requirements, given that he was registered as a voter outside the city limits last year.
“I just did a public-records request to get all his voting history so we can file on him,” Rogers says. “He’s not qualified. He’s not a resident.”
Home said he wasn’t concerned the possibility that he could be knocked off the ballot.
“I’m not worried at all,” Home says.
A cautionary tale: one moment of fury-based parenting and then you have an adult daughter with house full of too many dolls to count.
"My sister's doll had blonde hair and mine was a brunette, and I wanted the blonde-haired doll, so we were fighting in the back of the taxi. When we got out of the cab, my mother took both dolls, broke their heads off, threw them out, and said, 'You will never have dolls again.'"
I'm not entirely sure when TV shows started releasing pre-premiere trailers (although I'd imagine HBO was probably the culprit), but when a show is as good as Breaking Bad, why not get people excited with a glimpse of the season to come? While we still have a while to wait for Mad Men, at least Walter White and company will be back in July.
The New York Times reports that conspiracy nuts are now pushing a vile claim that the January shooting rampage in Tucson was a government hoax:
Some conspiracy Web sites are claiming that the shootings that nearly killed Representative Gabrielle Giffords and did end the lives of a federal judge, a 9-year-old girl and four others never actually took place. One particularly bizarre site, run by a Texas man, says it was all a government hoax that used actors.
Such obviously fantastic claims would usually not merit the attention of law enforcement, but they have in this instance because some believers have been confronting, and alarming, some of the people associated with the case in recent weeks.
Richard Kastigar, investigative chief of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, said he passed information about the Web site to his intelligence unit. He reacted angrily to those denying the shootings. “There were bodies sent to the morgue, people’s loved ones,” Mr. Kastigar said.
Manuel J. Johnson, a spokesman for the F.B.I., said the bureau was aware of the site, but he declined to say whether an investigation was under way. One shooting victim said he notified the F.B.I. recently after two men showed up at his Tucson home claiming to be investigators and saying they were trying to determine whether the shooting was a hoax.
“They tried to get into my home,” said the victim, who asked that he not be identified because it might attract more such visitors. “They wanted to know if I had any pictures. They said they didn’t believe the event took place.”
The victim said that when he pressed the visitors for identification, one of them presented a business card that listed the Texas conspiracy site, which describes the shooting as an exercise conducted by the Department of Homeland Security. Other people connected to the case, including hospital personnel, victims’ relatives and possible trial witnesses, have received similar visits or seen their images on the Web site, officials said.
Trying to get into the victims' homes? Truly, truly reprehensible.
50 Years: Civil Rights in Arizona from 1963 to Today, an exhibit of documents, photographs and papers… More