Thursday, February 26, 2015

Catch ChamberLab's Orchestral Performance of 'The General' Saturday

Posted By on Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 4:00 PM

Last year, Tucson favorite ChamberLab set a live orchestra to Buster Keaton's classic Civil War silent film "The General." This weekend, the show is getting a rare second run.

Chris Black, who got ChamberLab started, says last year this was the show everyone was devastated to have missed.

"We did it right on Easter weekend, or around then, so a lot of people were out of town. People didn't know how awesome it was going to be," Black said, adding that this is the show he's been asked to repeat above all the others.

"If you haven't seen Buster Keaton before, he's just incredible. I don't know how he does what he does. This no special effects, no anything, just pure deranged athleticism a he leaps around and takes all kinds of chances with his life," Black explains. "It's about 78 minutes and all but about 15 minutes of it is train chases—so it's action packed."

This time, ChamberLab will be filming the event for DVD and digital download. They're running an IndieGoGo, from which proceeds are being split up between production costs for the filming and paying the musicians. 

"It's just to make sure that we stay healthy and that we pay the musicians for the really ridiculous amount of rehearsal we'll be putting them through for the next week," Black said, noting that while his shows usually just split up the profits from ticket sales, that's just not enough for the amount of work people are putting into this. "Everyone is really amazing that they're giving us their time in the way that they have been I'm trying to get a little bit more into their pockets."

The show takes place this Saturday, Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m., at the Fox Theater, 17 W. Congress St. You can get tickets and preorder a DVD/digital copy of the screening through their IndieGoGo—which will remain open for a week after the event, just in case you feel like sending a little more money their way after the performance.

"It's an amazing accomplishment. I mean, when you're right in the middle of it with the music playing and the movie's going and you can't stop and say 'Oops, lets take that again,' and theres 11 people just going at it—it's a tremendous feeling," Black said. "I have never surfed, but I imagine kinda like surfing a gigantic wave. I'm not sure how else to describe it, but thats a pretty good feeling."

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Homeland Security Moving Closer To Shutdown

Posted By on Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 2:30 PM


The Department of Homeland Security is moving closer to a shutdown, meaning Southern Arizona Border Patrol agents and other DHS employees will be expected to work for vouchers or be furloughed. Talking Points Memo reports:

House Republican leaders are refusing to support legislation that funds the Department of Homeland Security without imposing immigration policy restrictions, a sign that the department is headed for a partial shutdown Friday night.

The legislation is all but guaranteed to pass the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) have championed it in an agreement to bring up immigration bills separately. Even conservative firebrand Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has signaled he won't hold up the "clean" DHS bill ahead of the Friday midnight deadline to avert a shutdown.

But in the House, it's a very different story. Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), facing a rebellion from his members, isn't ready to swallow the standalone DHS bill just yet, and is exploring options to continue fighting President Barack Obama's initiatives on immigration.

"We want to stop the president's immigration actions with regard to immigration," Boehner told reporters Thursday. "It's outrageous that Senate Democrats are using Homeland Security funding for blackmail to protect the actions of the president. ... We're waiting to see what the Senate can or can't do, and then we're going to make decisions about how to proceed."

Among members of Arizona's Southern Arizona congressional delegation, Democrats Raul Grijalva and Ann Kirkpatrick support a clean funding bill without amendments targeting the Obama administration's recent executive actions on immigration, while Republican Martha McSally has declined to say whether she supports a clean funding bill. McSally voted to attach the amendments to the bill, but wrote in the USA Today yesterday that the Homeland Security funding shouldn't be attached to the fight against the expanded program to shield up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation. But she also declined to tell the Weekly if she would support a clean funding bill.

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Goodness Juice Bar Serves Up a Surprisingly Well-Balanced Cocktail

Posted By on Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 1:30 PM

It looks good, but is it really good for you? - HEATHER HOCH
  • Heather Hoch
  • It looks good, but is it really good for you?

I walked into Goodness Juice Bar near the UA campus with some preconceived notions. "Surely," I thought in a flurry of booze hauteur, "a juice bar can't possibly be making good cocktails." After all, half of their drinks are made with flavored vodkas. For someone who doesn't judge a dive bar by its slummy digs, I quickly began to eat (er, sip) my words at this juice bar.

Moving past the loud house/trance music pumping through the speakers, the bar itself was curiously well-stocked with en vogue liquors like Buffalo Trace as well as local spirits like Arizona Distilling Co.'s Copper City bourbon. Clean, bright and shiny, the bar is visually appealing. The bartender on duty was personable and accommodating. I felt bad for being judgmental almost immediately.

The Watership Down ($7) looked like the most health nutty of the just under ten drink menu, so that of course was the one to get with its beet juice, lemon juice, basil and pickled carrot garnish. It uses Pimm's, and like most of the drinks, Demerera simple as the cocktail base. The drink was tart and lightly sweet with a nice earthy quality from the beet juice. The best part is the carrot, which adds the perfect, albeit, spicy kick at the end of the drink.

While Goodness gets props for serving a tasty drink, I was curious to see if the drink itself was really that healthy since it is being served at a juice bar. Breaking down the drink's recipe, my nearest estimate puts the drink right around 130 calories, which, for the amount of flavor you get from the Watership Down is pretty impressive. (A normal margarita is over 150 calories.) Plus the health benefits of beet juice (potassium, iron, magnesium, fiber, vitamins A, B, and C, etc.) pretty much speak for themselves.

Overall, the drinks, which run at about $7 or $8 per, are reasonably priced and from what I tasted are actually worth the stop. Plus maybe you can trick yourself into thinking it was actually somewhat healthy. The bar, located at 1011 N. Tyndall Ave., is open Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. until close and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. until close.

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Support Camp Born This Way By Dancing at La Cocina

Posted By on Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 12:00 PM

click image Maybe it's time to get a little sweaty ... You know, for charity. - ICANTTEACHYOUHOWTODOIT / FLICKR
  • icantteachyouhowtodoit / Flickr
  • Maybe it's time to get a little sweaty ... You know, for charity.

It's time to get up and get out of your house because the Coming Out Queer Dance Party is going down again at La Cocina this Friday and this time its benefitting Camp Born This Way

For the do-gooders out there, Camp Born This Way will get donations from the event which will help to keep the program, which provides a safe space for children who are transgender or gender non-conforming, running. If you're just in it for the dancing, the event is free and runs from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. so you'll get plenty of that in. However, you really should bring at least a few bucks for Camp Born This Way.

The nearly four year old event happens on the last Friday of every month, which means it's all going down on Friday, Feb. 27 this month at La Cocina, located at 201 N. Court Ave.

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Parents of Slain Journalist James Foley Speak at the UA Tonight

Posted By on Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 10:30 AM

  • Courtesy of the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation
  • James Foley in Syria in 2012.

John and Diane Foley—the parents of James Foley, an inspiring freelance journalist who was murdered by members of ISIS in Syria on Aug. 19, 2014—will participate this evening in a discussion at the University of Arizona about what it is like for journalists to face a world that seems to be getting more and more dangerous.

I spoke with Diane a few days ago, and she said being a part of these talks are important to them because it is a way to keep their son's inspirations alive. Until his last breath, James was an advocate for his fellow journalists' freedom of speech, and a loud voice shedding light on people's suffering, hoping that through his work he'd be able to change things.

"We feel Jim's spirit with us, and it helps me continue," she said. "Whether it was a child in the inner city of Phoenix or a child suffering in the middle of war, advocating for freelancers and their needs. He was always one to try to help the underdog."

Foley is among 61 correspondents and other reporters who were killed last year, and more than 1,100 journalists and other media workers from Latin America to the Middle East have been killed since 1992, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. The groups says that figure does not include the many others who have been kidnapped, imprisoned, threatened or forced to flee.

Through the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation, the Foleys hope to help protect journalists reporting from war zones, health and social aids working in dangerous regions and also inspire others to be more involved in the issue. It something that concerns all of us.

In recent days, Diane has been in touch with the family of Kayla Mueller, a Prescott native humanitarian aid worker and activist who was killed on Feb. 6 while held hostage by ISIS. She had been worried about Kayla's situation for over a year, since she was taken captive in Aug. 2013. 

"She was a wonderful young girl, huge heart," she said. "She is one of our heroes."

Diane reached out to her family and hopes to be in touch with them more often, although she wishes they could have met under other circumstances.

"We are going through this horrible situation together," she said.

The forum today is sponsored by the Center for Border & Global Journalism.

Journalist Terry Anderson, a former Associated Press correspondent who was held hostage in Beirut, Lebanon for almost seven years, will participate, as will David McCraw, a First Amendment lawyer from The New York Times. The discussion will be moderated by UA journalism professor and co-director of the Center for Border & Global Journalism, Mort Rosenblum.

The talk is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the UA's Integrated Learning Center Auditorium 120, located near the Main Library.

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Diane Douglas & Doug Ducey May Be Able to Be Friends Again: This Bill Clarifies Who Runs the Board of Ed

Posted By on Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 8:00 AM

  • Courtesy of Shutterstock

Things seem to be going well between Gov. Doug Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas, especially now that legislation clarifying who can fire people in the state's Board of Education is underway.

State Sen. Kelli Ward of Lake Havasu City collaborated with Ducey and Douglas on the language, which would be added as an amendment to HB 2184.

The amendment says the board is responsible for its executives, but Douglas would be the one who implements board policies.

About two weeks ago, the pair got into it after Douglas fired the board's Executive Director Christine Thompson and Assistant Director Sabrina Vazquez. Gov. Doug Ducey then said Douglas had no legal right to do this, and overturned the layoffs, and they went back to work shortly after (awkward).

Douglas then release a statement that said Ducey apparently viewed himself as both the governor and the superintendent of schools. 

We can all put that behind us now.

The Arizona Department of Education issues this:

Continue reading »

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Scarlett Johansson Loves Tucson, Does Not Care About New Jersey

Posted By on Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 6:00 PM

She seems reasonable.

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From "The Times They Are a-Changin'" (1964) to "Things Have Changed" (2000) and Beyond

Posted By on Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 5:00 PM


The times have indeed a-changed. From Peanuts, 1971:


To the current issue of the AARP Magazine:


As Pete Townshend might say, I'm just talkin' 'bout my [aging] generation.

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Lamplight Reading Series

This decades-old series features readings by well-known Tucson writers and an open mic for poets, performance artists… More

@ Casa Libre en la Solana First Sunday of every month and First Sunday of every month. Continues through July 7 228 N. Fourth Ave.

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