Nostalgia

Friday, September 16, 2016

Tucson Is A Vacuum—And I'm Ok With That

Posted By on Fri, Sep 16, 2016 at 1:12 AM

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION
  • Photo Illustration
In case you haven't noticed, hardly anyone that lives here is a Tucson Native. I kid you not. You can ask five different people where they are from and you will likely get the following answers: New York, Illinois, Michigan, and two other frozen over states that Satan will never step foot in. Just about everyone comes from somewhere else, and settles in here, ready to take on the hell hot summers like a champ. Because 106 degrees on a good day beats five below zero any day, right? 

Then there are those of us who aren't from here, but were dragged here by our parents as some sort of gentle take on biblical punishment. Our parents did not believe in "Spare the rod, spoil the child," but they did fully buy into "and the meek shall inherit the earth," so this was their way of wearing us down. "Bring the children to the surface of the sun," they said. "Eventually they will be so weak from their futile attempts to leave, they will have everything their hearts desire!" they said. *Insert evil laugh* 

I fall into that second category. Moved here with mom, from the coolest city in the world, New York, when I was 11. I cried when we left; she cried when we landed. Fitting. I had very little say in the matter (read: NONE), and I remember being shocked out of my mind that this desert of death with the silent "C" actually had grocery stores, stop lights, and BUSSES!  But alas, it wasn't The Big Apple, and I tried like hell to go back home. I mean, I couldn't even get a slice of pizza here! What was this place that makes you buy an ENTIRE pizza pie just so you can eat ONE STINKIN' SLICE? Every summer I lobbied, albeit unsuccessfully, for a one way ticket back to my concrete paradise. Every. Damn. Summer. And then finally, I gave up. I admitted defeat. I couldn't have my pizza, but I did have my Eegee's, so I guessed that was better than nothing. Now don't get me wrong, it was no Mario's Italian Ice in a yellow cup with a wooden spoon and the syrupy, sugary bottom—but it was somethin'. 

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Friday, September 9, 2016

Get Your Undying Classic Rock Fix With The Zombies at the Rialto

Posted By on Fri, Sep 9, 2016 at 12:30 PM

screen_shot_2016-09-09_at_10.17.58_am.png
Get ready for a flashback weekend, because The Zombies are coming to Tucson.

No, not undead, brain-eating humans, but the 1960s band that graced us with the sultry song “Time of the Season” and the twangy love song “Can’t Nobody Love You.”

Sorry, newsletter readers, this performance is happening over the weekend: Saturday, Sept. 10 at 8 p.m., the English rock band will grace the Rialto Theater, 318 E. Congress St., with local musician Brian Lopez. The show is all ages and and tickets range from $30 to $51 on Ticketfly. Doors open at 7 p.m. 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Day Trippin' Across the Universe—or Just to the Loft for a Beatles Sing-a-Long

Posted By on Tue, Jul 12, 2016 at 1:46 PM

921px-the_beatles_i_h_torgscity_1963.jpg
The Loft Cinema (3233 E. Speedway Blvd.) is hosting A Hard Day’s Night Sing-A-Long on Saturday, July 16 at 7:30 p.m. featuring the film that typifies the height of the Beatles' revolutionary career. The movie follows John, Paul, George, and Ringo as they prep for a London TV gig in the midst of shenanigans and screaming fans. Directed by Richard Lester, A Hard Day’s Night includes some of the Beatles' most famous tracks like, “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “I Should Have Known Better,” “Tell Me Why,” and “If I Fell."

The 87-minute film will have all the lyrics to your favorite Beatles tunes displayed on screen for the optimal sing-a-long experience, and pre-show entertainment includes Beatles music videos and a costume contest. 10 bucks won't 'buy you love' but it is the general admission price, and children under 12 get in for $8. 

Tags: , , , , ,

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

In Defense of Marijuana: #FreeKyleCatlin

Posted By on Wed, Jun 29, 2016 at 2:53 PM

Kyle and his mom Suson. - KYLE CATLIN FACEBOOK
  • Kyle Catlin Facebook
  • Kyle and his mom Suson.

Suson Catlin has been writing letters to the Governor's Office hoping someone out there will help get her 27-year-old son, Kyle, out of prison—where he's been since mid-January over nonviolent marijuana felony charges. Unsurprisingly, she hasn't received a response. But as I imagine most mothers would, Suson is willing to exhaust all options. Hope dies last.

The night of June 23, Suson got a phone call from Kyle, saying he had been charged with assault after anotherp inmate in the Marana Community Correctional Facility jumped him and split his lip open. In response to the altercation, which Kyle repeatedly told his parents he didn't do anything but take the punches, Kyle was placed in "protective custody," also known as "the hole," or solitary. The inmate who assaulted Kyle was placed in solitary first, so he and friends threatened to kill Kyle for being "a snitch." 

After Suson made several frantic phone calls to the correctional facility, guards moved Kyle to the hole, where he remained for about a week.

To make matters worse, Kyle got transferred back to the first correctional facility he stepped foot in—the Arizona Department of Corrections' Whetstone Unit off of South Wilmont Road and East Old Vail Road. While there the first time, an inmate jumped Kyle and hurt his head. One hopes the correctional system would have enough common sense to not send a nonviolent inmate back to a place where his safety was jeopardized. But, really, they could give a shit. It is not their son. It is not their brother. It is not their friend.

"I'm not giving up, I am going to fight even more to get my son out of that hell hole," Suson wrote on Kyle's Facebook after her son told her he'd be transferred again.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Monday, June 20, 2016

Organ Pipe Desert: A Collection of Water Tanks to Save Lives and Migrants' Belongings Left Behind

Posted By on Mon, Jun 20, 2016 at 2:30 PM

Every summer, as temperatures rise to the three digits, there are concerns for the thousands of migrants crossing through the remote areas of the Sonoran Desert. The Arizona Republic reports that 17 bodies have been recovered for the month of June and a total of 48 migrants have been found dead since the beginning of the year, according to Pima County Chief Medical Examiner Gregory Hess.

Summer is the most concerning time for immigration rights and humanitarian groups like Humane Borders and No Más Muertes/No More Deaths. The latter leaves gallons of water (all with messages of encouragement), canned food and medicine in desert areas migrants are likely to walk through. Humane Borders volunteers fill up water tanks that hold 30+ gallons, also in areas where they notice a pattern of high migrant activity. If volunteers come across migrants who need medical attention, they're prepared to help. Then, there are also times when they have to get Border Patrol involved to save people's lives.

On Thursday, I went on a 12-hour water run to the western part of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument with Joel Smith of Humane Borders. The organization also has water tanks in other portions of Organ Pipe, as well as in the desert of Altar Valley in Sasabe, and in Ironwood Forest National Monument, near Marana. 

This water saves humans. The issue of humanitarian aid shouldn't be up for discussion, even as politics continuously dehumanize migrants.

I'm eternally grateful to people like Joel, who volunteer entire days to try to save as many valuable lives as possible.

Joel Smith checking a water hose that's filling up a 30+ gallon tank. It was defective, so we manually filled up the tank 5 gallons at a time. There are two water tanks in west Organ Pipe, but they are located a considerable distance apart, which is why filling them up takes the entire day. - MARIA INÉS TARACENA
  • Maria Inés Taracena
  • Joel Smith checking a water hose that's filling up a 30+ gallon tank. It was defective, so we manually filled up the tank 5 gallons at a time. There are two water tanks in west Organ Pipe, but they are located a considerable distance apart, which is why filling them up takes the entire day.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Friday, June 17, 2016

In Defense of Marijuana: Parents of Medical Weed Patient in Prison Fear for His Life

Posted By on Fri, Jun 17, 2016 at 9:00 AM

I met Kyle Catlin almost one year ago. As I'm writing this, he sits in protective custody at the Marana Community Correctional Facility, afraid for his life after an inmate recently jumped him and then threatened to kill him for being "a snitch."

The inmate split Kyle's lip open. The inmate now sits in solitary because of the fight. Kyle is also in "the hole" for protection. Both of them were issued a complaint even though Kyle didn't do anything, according to his father Marvin.

This wasn't the first time. A couple of months ago, another inmate in a different correctional facility jumped Kyle and split his head open.

"His appeal for the guy punching him in the mouth was denied, he has one more appeal and is working on it now. If he is denied again he will have to be put in a medium security facility," Marvin told me through Facebook a couple of days ago. We've been in touch here and there since Kyle's trial.

"He is being threatened by a group of inmates. He should be moved to protective custody tonight.
I fear for his life," Marvin said last night. 

It was a three-digit-hot August day last year, and the young medical marijuana patient/caregiver and I were supposed to talk about his upcoming two trials for nonviolent marijuana sale, possession and cultivation felony charges over some iced coffee or tea at Cafe Passé on Fourth Avenue. Kyle called me to let me know he couldn't make it because his car had broken down and he'd taken it to a shop in South Tucson. I met him there and we talked in the waiting room for at least three hours.
Kyle and his grandfather.
  • Kyle and his grandfather.


Before we got into the serious talk, he chatted about his upcoming birthday party on Aug. 15. It was his 27th birthday. 

Tall, the blondest of hair, soft spoken, kind eyes, beyond family-oriented and a die-hard fan of car racing—I remember thinking, how can he be facing the possibility of going to prison?

At the time, he had at least 10 felony charges on him. (Read more about the charges, In Defense of Marijuana, September 2015.) He told me he was afraid of going to prison. He was afraid of getting pulled into a gang, being jumped. He, without shame, said he wasn't a fighter. He'd lose a fight. But probably the biggest fear was separating from his family. They were always together.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , ,

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Documentary Looks Back at Tragic Death of 49 Toddlers in a Day Care Fire in Hermosillo 7 Years Ago

Posted By on Thu, Jun 2, 2016 at 3:04 PM

A shrine for the 49 toddlers killed in the fire, outside the former ABC day care. - MARIA INÉS TARACENA
  • Maria Inés Taracena
  • A shrine for the 49 toddlers killed in the fire, outside the former ABC day care.

The death of 49 toddlers in the ABC Day Care fire in our sister desert city of Hermosillo is probably one of the most soul wrenching days—if not the saddest and most puzzling day—in Sonora's modern history.

The morning of June 5, 2009, at least 200 babies and toddlers were dropped off by their parents. In the early afternoon, during nap time (la hora de la siesta) the fire from neighboring storage owned by the state's Finance Department spread to ABC—a warehouse with practically no emergency exists, a small main entrance, defective fire alarms and a tarpaulin ceiling. More than 100 children and staff were injured by the fire, according to Hermosillo's newspaper El Imparcial. The 49 angels passed away either because of the fire, smoke or the ceiling's collapse. 

Evidence quickly piled up suggesting negligence and corruption from the day care's owners, all the way up the ladder to federal and state officials. 

ABC was inspected often, and somehow it always passed. In fact, 10 days before the fire, it passed its last inspection.

Except, in 2005, federal authorities ordered the owners to get rid of the tarp, add more emergency exits and widen the entrance, according to a June 2009 New York Times article. Absolutely nothing happened. What's more, several months later that same federal agency—the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Mexico's Social Security—renewed its contract with ABC even though the repairs were never made.

It took seven years for the families to get some sort of justice.

In May of this year, 19 of the presumably 22 people involved in the fire—including the IMSS representative in Sonora—were sentenced to at least 20 years in prison for culpable homicide of the 49 toddlers.

It's not enough. It's a tragedy that should have never happened.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Remembering 9-Year-Old Brisenia Flores: Murdered in 2009 by Anti-Immigration Activists in Arivaca, Ignored by the Media

Posted By on Tue, May 31, 2016 at 3:00 PM

brisenia.jpg
Brisenia Flores would be 16 this year—my youngest brother's age. Except seven years ago on May 30, as she slept with her puppy on the living room couch in her family's mobile home in Arivaca—about 60 miles south of Tucson—armed robbers broke in, and shot and killed Brisenia and her father, Raul, 29.

The home invasion was led by Shawna Forde, a former member of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, and founding member of the group Minutemen American Defense. Reports say she'd patrol the Arizona-México borderlands carrying weapons and protested against crime along the border, as well as the presence of undocumented immigrants in the country. Forde was reportedly kicked out of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps because she was "unstable." (Describing both groups as white supremacists is not far fetched.)

Forde and her two accomplices claimed to be law enforcement, which is how they were able to enter the Flores' home.

The day of the murder, as a CNN article from 2011 describes, Brisenia, Raul and mom Gina Gonzales went shopping for new shoes for Brisenia. She had just finished third grade and needed them for summer camp. 
She fell asleep watching television as her parents slept in their bedroom. A few hours later, she opened her eyes to the sight of her father, lying on the opposite couch. He had been shot in the chest and was choking on his own blood. Her mother was bleeding on the floor, a gunshot wound to her leg. The little girl was startled and cried out to intruders in her home, “Why did you shoot my mom?”
Brisenia's mom, Gina, cried and described the events in court back in 2011. She made it out alive seven years ago yesterday, after being shot in the leg. She called 911 and got a hold of her husband's gun.

"[Brisenia] was really scared. Her voice was shacking," Gina said in court, according to CNN. "I can hear her say, 'Please don't shoot me.'"

Forde and two accomplices, Jason Bush—at the time the national director of operations for the Minutemen American Defense—and Albert Gaxiola planned to raid the home to steal drugs, weapons and money to fund their anti-immigration group, according to CNN. Reportedly, they thought Raul was a drug dealer. No drugs were found.

On Feb. 22, 2011, a jury found Forde guilty of first-degree murder and gave her the death penalty.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Staff Pick

Barbara Brandel: Paintings on Display

Barbara Brandel’s paintings will be on display September 1-30, 2016, during regular library hours.… More

@ Joel D. Valdez Main Library Mondays-Thursdays, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Fridays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays, 1-5 p.m. Continues through Sept. 25 101 N. Stone Ave.

» More Picks

Submit an Event Listing

Popular Content

  1. Song of the Day: 'Poor Poor Pitiful Me' by Linda Ronstadt (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. The Weekly List: 27 Things To Do In Tucson In The Next 10 days (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. Quick Bites: Don’t Miss Miss Saigon’s New Late Nights (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. Quick Bites: Arizona's Oldest Craft Beer Turns 25 (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. Casa Video Top 10 (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

© 2016 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation