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Friday, December 2, 2016

You're a Wizard, Harry: A Harry Potter Ball at Your Favorite Barnes & Noble

Posted By on Fri, Dec 2, 2016 at 2:10 PM

  • Glen Bowman/via
Have you always known you're a witch or wizard at heart? Well, shed your muggle-ness for an evening of holiday celebration and magic at your local Barnes and Noble for the Harry Potter Magical Holiday Ball.

Barnes and Noble locations across the country will hold a Yule-ball inspired dance party at all stores in the U.S. on Friday, Dec. 9 from 7-9 p.m. Muggles of all ages are welcome to join in on the holiday fun. 

Whether you want to come in your best-dressed, as your favorite Potter character or in your Hogwarts uniform, there will be festive activities to celebrate all things Potter.

Because of the obvious popularity of this free event, Barnes and Noble said customers should call their local store ahead of time for capacity limits or special instructions.  

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After Orlando: An International Theatre Action

Posted By on Fri, Dec 2, 2016 at 12:00 PM

Theaters across the globe are teaming up in response to the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida on June 12. Now, actors and theater goers alike are paying respect to the victims, their families and all those affected that night through live acting.

This summer, a gunman shot and killed 49 club goers at the Pulse Nightclub—a venue known for its LGBTQ+ community. This attack is marked as the worst shooting in modern U.S. history. Authorities later found that the attacker had pledged allegiance to ISIS, a terrorist group based in Iraq and Syria, according to CNN.
  • Adrian Grycuk/Wikimedia Commons

After the shooting, playwrights from across the globe curated a collection of new plays in response to the shooting in conjunction with the Missing Bolts Productions and NoPassport Theatre Alliance & Press, according to Playbill.

Members of the Tucson community are invited to watch the UA graduate and undergraduate students in dramaturgy perform a free, staged reading of the 17 plays curated in the special collection. The reading will be held Monday, Dec. 5 from 7:30-8:30 p.m. in the Harold Dixon Directing Studio, UA Drama Building Room 116, 1025 N. Olive Road.

Playwrights include: E.M. Lewis, Jeff McMahon, Jordan Tannahil, Arturo Soria, Georgina Escobar and many others. Some of these plays involve adult content, profanity and scenes of violence.

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Song of the Day: 'Mr. Flagg' by Gabriel Sullivan; Plus, Casa Maria Soup Kitchen Benefit with Sullivan, Rich Hopkins, Cesar Aguirre and more!

Posted By and on Thu, Nov 17, 2016 at 2:30 PM

Casa Maria mission was part of the lay Catholic worker movement founded in the 1930s. Liberty, Social Justice and Peace—just words? Sure, but with each year they become more important to the health of a city and its residents and those visiting or just passing though. Like many of you, I used to see Brian Flagg on television in a role that was and is uniquely his. I liked his gentle yet direct voice on the radio, defining issues for the poor, for minorities, for those whose very life is affected by the smallest increase in the bus fare, the closing of vital neighborhood schools, and always to feed the hungry—the Casa Maria Soup Kitchen. He's been an advocate on our streets for thirty some years. This is a week for gratitude, with Thanksgiving just around the corner.

Gabriel Sullivan is a Tucsonan, a very gifted one at that. A few years back, following a brief tour, he left me in Austria to fly myself home while he headed on to Denmark to make what would be a very different record—JVPITER with Desoto Caucus for the most part. On arriving home, he played me a track called "Mr. Flagg." When it was through, I asked to hear it again. A few days ago I asked Gabe about the song. He thought and said that he took inspiration from Brian—a man who walks his talk, a man who has given so much to others. The song is a lullaby, comfort in its words, the chorus a mantra (Where do you find the will/Where do you find the will, Mr. Flagg/To hold the hands of all these good men). By its end, it transcends a song and become reassurance of those who love and those who struggle to be loved.

This Monday, Nov. 21, is the annual Thanksgiving benefit for Casa Maria Soup Kitchen. a tradition that has been kept alive for the last 13 years thanks to Rich Hopkins. The event will be held at Hotel Congress (311 E. Congress). Doors 7 p.m., show starts at 7:30. A $10 donation is suggested, and please bring some cans of food if you can spare them. I would like to ask you all to come down and join us for this event, and if you can't make it, please consider taking a moment to visit the Casa Maria website for instructions on how to make a donation.

Cesar Aguirre will begin the show, RIch Hopkins and the Luminarios will kick up the decibels as always and I am looking forward to sharing a couple songs with Gabriel Sullivan and his band who will close out this beautiful night. Hope to see a lot of folks 'there who don't usually make it out. God Bless.

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Keep Your Pup Safe: Understanding Parvo and Distemper

Posted By on Thu, Nov 17, 2016 at 10:45 AM

Keep your dogs away from public pup places while there is a high threat of parvo and distemper. - JIMMY BAIKOVICIUS/FLICKR
  • Jimmy Baikovicius/Flickr
  • Keep your dogs away from public pup places while there is a high threat of parvo and distemper.

In the last month, a spike in distemper and parvo cases constituted an outbreak in Tucson and a warning for Marana. Both of the diseases are highly contagious and possibly fatal for dogs who contract either illness.

Last week, the Pima Animal Care Center halted all voluntary owner surrenders after the spike in distemper and strep zoo, another fatal dog illness, killed at least four dogs and sickened 10 others at the shelter, according to the Arizona Daily Star

That a parvo outbreak struck the northwest side of Tucson that killed more pets within the past several weeks. Dogs that were treated for the disease visited the Crossroads at Silverbell Dog Park.

To keep your dog safe from contracting parvo or distemper, make sure to understand the illnesses and to look out for the sign and symptoms of the diseases.

What is distemper?

Distemper is a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous system.

How does it spread?

The virus spreads through contact with droplets from an infected animal's cough, sneeze, eye or nasal discharge.

Signs and symptoms:

Typically begins with signs of a respiratory illness like fever, cough, eye and nasal discharge. Gastrointestinal symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, lack of appetite, weight loss — these usually occur in the early stages. Neurological symptoms include tremors of the legs, head and neck, stumbling, seizures and paralysis. Some dogs also experience an overgrowth and hardening of the foot pads.

What is parvo?

Parvo is a potentially deadly virus that attacks a dog's gastrointestinal tract and, occasionally, heart tissue.

How does it spread?

Parvo shed in the excrement of infected dogs and can live on surfaces for months in extreme conditions. The virus can also e transmitted from contaminated surfaces like clothing, shoes and floors.

Signs and symptoms:

Most common signs of the virus is vomiting and diarrhea. Depression, fever, loss of appetite, weight, activity and water intake are also symptoms of the disease. One hallmark symptom is bloody vomit and diarrhea which can mean serious damage to internal organs.

What you can do to to keep you pet healthy

Both parvo and distemper are serious diseases that need immediate medical attention once contracted, but there are ways to keep your pet from getting sick. It is recommended owners keep their dogs from dog parks, pet stores and other areas where viruses have a high risk of transmission, according to the American Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Also be sure to get pets vaccinated against the virus, especially young dogs that are more susceptible to disease.  

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Send Some Love to Your Local Library

Posted By on Wed, Nov 16, 2016 at 12:00 PM

Be still my heart. - TIMETRAX23/FLICKR.COM
  • timetrax23/
  • Be still my heart.

Now, you no longer have to adore your local library in private. You can send a love letter to the your favorite library about anything that swoons you—the old book smell, the never-ending shelves or the cool librarian that always helps you out. 

After four years of Love Letters to Tucson, a project started by local blogger Rachel Miller, Pima County libraries is now starting their own version of the project called Love Letters to My Library. This new project started on Oct. 21 in collaboration with local libraries and Miller herself.

Local libraries will take in new entries every month on the libraries' website and on the official website for Love Letters to Tucson. If you've got some love to share to your library or any questions about the program you can email

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

A 2nd Act: A Story of Survival

Posted By on Thu, Nov 10, 2016 at 12:53 PM

When cancer strikes it can seem like the end of the world. With a mother that has been diagnosed with cancer not only once, but twice I completely understand the effects that it can have not only on the person, but on the families as well.

With cancer, times can seem rough, at some of the darkest moments it can feel that there is no way out, but if my mother taught me one thing it is that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, there is always a way to live the best life you can, and there is always a second chance.

In light of my mothers multiple encounters with cancer I have always paid special attention and tried to participate in any cancer awareness event I come across. When I found out that Tucson was doing it's part to join the conversation with the A 2nd Act production, I couldn't help but smile because all I could hear is my moms words ringing in my ear.

A 2nd Act: Survivorship Takes the Stage is an inaugural production put on in Tucson that features local women reading their personal stories and explaining how they took their lives back after the news, how they seized their "2nd Act."

click image A 2ND ACT
  • A 2nd Act
The mission of this production is for these women to inspire others by showing that their live after cancer can be just as meaningful as it was before.

A 2nd Act is a celebration of courage, it motivates the audience to pursue their own "2nd Act" regardless of the situation, cancer or not.

Tickets to this event are $22, and some of the proceeds will go to micro grants and seed money for women who are actively trying to pursue their own "2nd Act" after cancer.

The event will take place on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. It will be held at the Berger Center for Performing Arts, 1200 W. Speedway

Tickets and more information are available at

Monday, November 7, 2016

Telling Tucson A Good Story

Posted By on Mon, Nov 7, 2016 at 12:00 PM

It is 12:30 p.m. on a sweltering Saturday afternoon in Tucson, Arizona. The cobblestone paths in St. Phillips plaza are lined with decorated booths of artisans and exhibitors who have gathered to share their knowledge, message and mission with the Tucson community.

The temperature outside has reached a peak 96 degrees, an unusual temperature for an October day, but nevertheless the Arts in the Plaza Festival hosted by the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance trudges on.

click image SAACA

The Arts in the Plaza Festival is a celebration of arts and culture in both Tucson and South Tucson. The festival was created to showcase the unique talent of the locals. Each year the SAACA scours the both communities to find artists and community leaders to participate in the celebration.

“To me it didn’t matter if I was hot, this festival means so much to people in Tucson and no matter what, the show must go on,” said Victoria Preciado, a festival attendee.

By wandering the pathways of the festival, it is easy to see that as the heat increases, moral declines. The elderly turquoise jewelry maker is significantly less chatty than two hours prior, the once lively group of locals who occupied the middle of the festival with their roaring laughter have dispersed. But, somehow in the mix of it all, one booth stands out among the rest.

From the opposite side of the plaza, a boisterous laugh is heard, among the dull roar of chatter between different booths, there is still one person that is unable to be missed.

“I heard Hawkeye from across the festival,” said Lyndsay Campbell, student and festival attendee. Hawkeye Richardson is the founder and owner of Tell Me A Good Story.

“I don’t know if it was the outrageous amount of beautifully worn antique books, or Hawkeye’s dedication to the cause that kept me there for so long, but I can definitely tell you that the hour I spent at the Tell Me A Good Story booth, now that’s one hour I don’t regret,” said Campbell.

Tell Me A Good Story on the surface could just seem like any collector and distributor of antique books, but take a closer look—the mission is so much greater.

Continue reading »

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Top Out Downtown's New Hotel With a Block Party

Posted By on Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 1:45 PM

The AC Hotel in Tucson by Marriott is in its final stages and will host a "topping out" party to celebrate the placing of the final beam on the building. Everyone in the community is invited to come to this free event on Nov. 5 from 1-5 p.m. at the site, 151 E. Broadway Blvd.

Guests are invited to enjoy free ice cream from HUB, tacos from Charro Steak, coffee from Cafe Lucé live music and refreshments for sale. Some of the proceeds from drink purchases will benefit the Sister Jose Women's Center for Tucson's homeless women.

At 2:30 p.m., Mayor Jonathan Rothschild will take the stage to say few words about the new hotel in downtown. Other speakers include: council member Steve Kozachik, developer Scott Stiteler, and Rio Nuevo board member Mark Irvin.

If you want to take home a few memories from the event, guests can also enjoy a photo booth at the site. Bring your friends, your dog and your mom for this afternoon block party. For more information click here.

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Staff Pick

Fascinating Fascism:Propaganda Films of the 1930's

Influential international conceptual painter, Olivier Mosset and performance studies scholar, Yasmine Jahanmir will discuss geometric abstraction and… More

@ Exploded View Microcinema and ArtSpace Wed., Dec. 7, 7:30-9:30 p.m. 197 E. Toole Ave.

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