Friday, December 2, 2016

Casa Video Top 10

Posted By on Fri, Dec 2, 2016 at 4:30 PM

Somehow it's already December and 2016 is slipping through our fingers—not that anyone is going to miss this year, it's been rough. While I personally think you should spend your remaining movie watching hours for the year filling your brains with performances by Alan Rickman, Florence Henderson and Gene Wilder, I suppose you also have the option of watching some more current films.

Here's your weekly look at what's popular at Casa Video:

1. Finding Dory

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Betsy DeVos Set To Join the Trump Cabinet's Billionaire Boys [and Girls] Club

Posted By on Fri, Dec 2, 2016 at 3:34 PM

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"I have decided to stop taking offense," Betsy DeVos wrote in a Roll Call column, "at the suggestion that we are buying influence. Now I simply concede the point."
Betsy DeVos, Trump's pick for Secretary of Education, knows plenty about buying influence and has plenty of money to do so. Dubbed "The New Kochs" by an article in Mother Jones, Betsy and her husband Richard earned multiple mentions in Dark Money, the authoritative book on the topic by Jane Mayer. True, among the über-rich who participate in the Koch brothers' seminars, Richard and Betsy rank a few notches below the top ten. Their almost $6 billion valuation isn't near the combined $86 billion of Charles and David Koch or the $31 billion of Sheldon Adelson. But $6 billion ain't chopped liver. It can buy you a whole lot of influence. And it has, in the pursuit of removing any restrictions from political donations and in promoting the spread of vouchers and charter schools.

Betsy DeVos, born Betsy Prince, came from a wealthy family, and she moved up a rung or two when she married into the Amway marketing empire fortune. Betsy and Richard have been part of the upper echelons of the state and national Republican Party. Richard ran for Michigan governor in 2006, unsuccessfully. In 1997, Betsy was a founding board member of the James Madison Center for Free Speech, a group whose only purpose was to wipe out legal restrictions on spending money in politics. (A school choice group she ran still owes a $5.2 million fine to the Ohio Elections Commission for making illegal political contributions in 2008. One of the lawyer's arguments against paying the fine is that the contribution would have been legal if the Citizens United decision had been in place at the time.)  In 2000, DeVos put $2 million into a state referendum pushing school vouchers, which was voted down by 68 percent of the voters. Vouchers lose when they're put to a popular vote every time, so she decided to devote her efforts to electing pro-voucher legislators who could enact the necessary legislation without needing voter support.

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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 FLICKR.COM
  • Glen Bowman/via flickr.com
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
  • 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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Fifth Annual Rock Lottery with The Flycatcher

Posted By on Fri, Dec 2, 2016 at 11:00 AM

It's a unique night of local music and it's something you've never heard before. The Flycatcher, a local bar and small-time music venue on Fourth Avenue, will host Tucson's fifth annual rock lottery to benefit the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona.
VIA THEFLYCATCHER.COM
  • via theflycatcher.com

The concept is simple: Gather 25 of Tucson's local musicians and fashion them into five musical groups, which are selected all by chance. Each group will be sent off to different practice locations across town and will have only 12 hours to create a band name, write four original songs, learn a song to cover and perform all five pieces to a Flycatcher audience.

All of the musicians chosen for this rock lottery comes from all walks of life and musical genres, according to The Flycatcher's official website. The hope is to highlight the unique musical styles within the Tucson community and bring together new genres while still maintaining the styles of each musician.

Where: The Flycatcher, 340 E. 6th St.
When: Dec. 10 at 9 p.m.
How to get in: Be at least 21; $5 admission at the door and/or bring two non-perishable food items to donate, all proceeds go to the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona

For more info click here.


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Cinema Clips: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Posted By on Fri, Dec 2, 2016 at 10:00 AM


Peter Yates returns to helm the next chapter in the Harry Potter universe, a prequel called Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the title of a textbook Harry studied at Hogwarts.

The film takes place well before Harry’s time, as the world of wizardry comes to New York City in the 1920s. Unfortunately, Beasts struggles with some of the same problems the first, lackluster Harry Potter had. It’s a sometimes good-looking movie with a screenplay that never takes hold. It’s all over the place, with no real sense of purpose other than setting you up for future movies. It’s nothing but an overblown place-setter.

In place of Daniel Radcliffe’s Harry, we get Eddie Redmayne’s Newt, author of the infamous textbook and caretaker for a variety of “fantastic beasts.” The film opens with him coming to New York toting a suitcase with a variety of beasts bursting to get out. Some of them do, indeed, escape and wreak havoc. Most notably a little platypus-looking thing called Niffler.

There’s a fun moment when Newt opens his case, and drops into it like it contains a staircase. It reveals a vast home for the creatures inside, where he feeds them and plays. And that’s it, really.

The movie is a big setup for the occasional sequences involving Redmayne interacting with special effects. The creatures might look relatively cool, but none of them register as great characters that move the plot along. Dan Fogler is pretty good in a supporting role as somebody who befriends Newt, but that doesn’t keep this film from being a mediocre start to a new chapter in the Potter universe.

Quick Bites: Help Keep Monsanto Out of Pima County

Posted By on Fri, Dec 2, 2016 at 9:00 AM

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Welp, it’s happened: Your good ’ol safe, fun Quick Bites column—which you could always turn to for light news about new goodies on the menu at your fave café or the latest quirky downtown ice-cream shop opening—has turned political. (OK, we’ve always been a little political, considering we’re all about local, sustainable and healthy, right?)

But … just this week … don’t freak out … we want you to sign a petition. Next week, it’ll be back to your regularly scheduled local restaurant updates and fun-community-food-festivity news. But this week, we want you to be an online activist for the sake of our local food community.
Maybe you’re not surprised. If you’ve got an activist bone in your body (or even if you don’t), you’re probably seeing petitions popping up everywhere you look—your mailbox, your email inbox, social media, clipboard-wielding people on the street. Ever since the presidential election, there’s so much everyone wants you to do to help keep our country sane, and petitions have been shown to make an impact, even online ones.

On the food front, here in Tucson, Quick Bites wants you to help us protect local farming interests—which right now means doing all we can to keep out the infamous pesticide-peddling, GMO-happy mega-agribusiness Monsanto.

According to the Pima County Food Alliance—a network comprised of farmers, chefs, restaurants, schools, gardeners, health professionals, activists, consumers (and many more)—Monsanto is right now holding secret talks with Pima County about building a greenhouse just outside Tucson.
Says the Alliance’s petition, “Given Monsanto’s history of bullying small farmers, we believe this is a threat to our local food system and our recent designation as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy.”
We hope you agree that a Monsanto greenhouse will increase corporate control of our local food system and endanger all the things we love about it. ■

Sign the petition online and learn more about the Pima County Food Alliance at pimafoodalliance.org.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

We Stand Together Network

Posted By on Thu, Dec 1, 2016 at 4:03 PM

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"I'm here because this feels like a very dark time for me, and I don't know what else to do." Those are the words Robert Yerachmiel Snyderman, program specialist at the Tucson Jewish History Museum, used to begin his presentation at Wednesday night's We Stand Together event organized by YWCA Southern Arizona.

I don't know how many people nodded "Yes" to Snyderman's words. I certainly did. "Give this a shot," I thought as I drove to the event. "Maybe the organizers have some ideas about how to bring together a community of people who will stand as a unified force to combat hatred addressed at individuals, and, if Trump makes good on his promise to deport immigrants and register Muslims, stand up to him in any way we can."

I left feeling more hopeful than I have in the past few weeks. It was a well organized event, the first of many which are in the works, and the YWCA has the necessary organizational heft and the historical commitment to human rights—the phrase at the top of the YWCA's national and local websites is "eliminating racism, empowering women"—to create a kind of umbrella organization which can unite local individuals and groups for a common purpose.

Was this event a beginning which will lead to greater unity and further action in Pima County? I'm encouraged by what I saw and heard, but there are no guarantees. Kelly Fryer, CEO of YWCA Southern Arizona, warned that too often, efforts like this fall into "the cycle of action, reaction and despair." But that doesn't have to be the case. "We're here tonight," she told the 250 people in attendance. "It's an urgent moment, but we can't let this be just another moment, not in Tucson, not in Arizona, not in the U.S."

More on the event in a moment. First, if you want to keep current with what the group is doing and become involved in any way, go to the Join We Stand Together page and register.

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Staff Pick

Bakasana and Beer

Yoga in the taproom at Dragoon, all levels yoga class with Exude Yoga and a pint of… More

@ Dragoon Brewing Company Sat., Oct. 22, 10:30-11:45 a.m., Sat., Nov. 5, 10:30-11:45 a.m., Sat., Nov. 19, 10:30-11:45 a.m., Sat., Dec. 3, 10:30-11:45 a.m. and Sat., Dec. 17, 10:30-11:45 a.m. 1859 w Grant Road #111

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Popular Content

  1. You're a Wizard, Harry: A Harry Potter Ball at Your Favorite Barnes & Noble (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. Betsy DeVos Set To Join the Trump Cabinet's Billionaire Boys [and Girls] Club (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. We Stand Together Network (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. Youthful Energy and Fine Performances Uphold The Sound of Music at Centennial Hall (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. Quick Bites: Help Keep Monsanto Out of Pima County (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

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