Thursday, May 21, 2015

There's a March Against Monsanto Saturday

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 3:00 PM

  • Courtesy of March Against Monsanto

Tucson and other Southern Arizona towns will be part of the worldwide marches against Monsanto happening Saturday. 

Aside from the usual demands for a global ban of the company's seed monopoly and toxic herbicides, some of the protests happening on U.S. soil hope to influence "no" votes for a bill in Congress— which has been nicknamed the DARK Act—that would prohibit states from creating and implementing their own GMO labeling laws, giving the U.S. Health and Human Services sole discretion on the issue. If it passes, it would overturn legislation in places like Connecticut, which became the first state to require GMO labeling. The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (critics call it the Deny Americans the Right to Know Act) is up for a vote next month. 

Anti-GMO advocates have tried passing labeling bills for years. Another was introduced this legislative session, but went nowhere. 

The Tucson march is hosted by GMO-Free Tucson and Avalon Organic Gardens & EcoVillage. If you're down, head down to the Pima County Public Library, 101 N. Stone Ave., at 4 p.m. There will be music and healthy eats from Food For Ascension Café and other food trucks (all GMO-less, of course).

If you're up for a road trip, the demonstration in Sierra Vista starts at 10 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Park, 3105 E. Fry Blvd.

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See Alexis Gideon's Animated Opera The Crumbling at MOCA

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 1:30 PM

click image Alexis Gideon's art is a concert and a movie all in one. - COURTESY OF WIKIPEDIA
  • Courtesy of Wikipedia
  • Alexis Gideon's art is a concert and a movie all in one.

Combining jolted stop motion animation with a musical narrative, multi-media artist Alexis Gideon has become known internationally for his unique video art and now you have the opportunity to catch one of his works at the Tucson Museum of Contemporary Art.

Gideon's 21-minute animated musical The Crumbling will be on view for a special one-time event at MOCA. The short film's story follows an apprentice librarian attempting to keep her city from crumbling around her. The film has an interesting mystic motif as well, incorporating mythologies and beliefs from 19th century occult to ancient Egyptian to 16th century alchemy.

The dialogue of The Crumbling happens completely in song, which Gideon performs live at each screening along with the projected video, so it really is as much of a performance art piece as it is video art.

You can see The Crumbling at MOCA, located at 265 S. Church Ave., on Saturday, May 23. The screening begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 for members of MOCA and $5 for non-members.

Here's some of Gideon's innovative work:

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U.S. Senate Committee OKs Measure That Would Allow VA Physicians to Recommend Medical Marijuana

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 12:14 PM

  • Courtesy of Photospin

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee has approved an amendment that would allow Veterans Affairs physicians to recommend medical marijuana use for debilitating conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain.

The measure, sponsored by Democratic Senators Steve Daines of Montana and Jeff Merkley of Oregon is attached to the Senate version of the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, and would undo a 2009 prohibition banning VA doctors from even suggesting medical weed to their patients.

Even though 23 states, including ours, have legalized medical ganja, it is still considered a controlled substance in the eyes of the feds. 

Here's a statement from Dan Riffle, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project:
“A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers came together and passed broadly supported marijuana policy reform. This is exactly how most Americans want Congress to handle this issue. Hopefully we are reaching a point at which it is becoming the norm, rather than the exception. The pace at which support appears to be growing in the Senate is particularly encouraging.

“Doctors should never be prohibited from helping their patients obtain the best possible medical treatment. Many veterans are finding that medical marijuana is the most effective treatment for PTSD and other service-related medical conditions. Finally, Congress is working to remove barriers to accessing it rather than building them.”
The U.S. House rejected a similar amendment last month by a very narrow vote. It's, again, up to the chamber to pass or kill this measure. 

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Tap & Bottle Welcomes Connor Mansager as First Bar Manager

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 11:00 AM

Connor Mansager has joined on to help Rebecca and Scott (and Eleanor) Safford at Tap & Bottle. - HEATHER HOCH
  • Heather Hoch
  • Connor Mansager has joined on to help Rebecca and Scott (and Eleanor) Safford at Tap & Bottle.

On the precipice of Tap & Bottle's two-year anniversary, Rebecca and Scott Safford have decided to make some changes. While the wife-and-husband duo has been running operations largely on their own at their beer and wine bar and bottle shop off of Sixth Avenue since it opened in June 2013, they have now decided to enlist some help by hiring Connor Mansager as their bar manager.

"He's our first manager so this is a big step for us," owner Rebecca Safford says. "I think it's going to bring us to the next level."

She says that one of the main reasons Mansager was brought on board is that the bar is planning to open a second location, though that is still in its very early stages and no details on where it will be are currently available.

Tucson barflies likely know Mansager's name already as a Scott & Co. and later Agustin Kitchen bartender. Although he's primarily known for his gifts in the cocktail and spirit world, Mansager says hospitality is his main specialty. 

"I'm all about the hospitality business," he says. "I like to see people come into the space where I work and have a good time whether it's a beer bar or a dive bar or wherever else."

"What makes Tap and Bottle special is what Connor already does well—it's talking to customers," Safford adds. "We really are a neighborhood bar."

Safford says that while Mansager's new position will mostly be a "continuation of what we've been doing," she hasn't ruled out incorporating his expertise in the cocktail world over at Tap & Bottle in the way of an increased and more consistent beer and wine cocktail offering.

"We were excited to bring Connor on because he has a true appreciation for drink and what it means to be craft," she says. 

Mansager says his overall experience will contribute to the environment regardless.

"My past experience in fine dining and fancy cocktails won't be lost here," he says. "My end goal has always been the person sitting in front of me."

You can catch Mansager at Tap & Bottle, located at 403 N. Sixth Avenue #135, this weekend at the shop's second annual Sour Beer Fest, which will feature 15 taps of different sour brews as well as special bottle tastings. We'll keep you updated on news of that second Tap & Bottle location as it becomes available.

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Remembering Chuck Bowden: "I Had Never Met Anyone Whose Senses Were So Alive and Hungry"

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 9:33 AM

Richard Grant, author of God's Middle Finger, remembers legendary local author Chuck Bowden, who died last August:
I had never met anyone whose senses were so hungry and alive. Even when interviewing a cartel enforcer about the unbelievable atrocities he had committed, Chuck’s fingertips would be registering the texture of the tabletop that lay between them, because he was incapable of ignoring such a thing. He lived in a place where the thermometer stays above 100°F for months on end, yet he disapproved strongly of air conditioning, because it cocooned people from the physical reality of where they lived. He wanted to melt into the heat and become one with it. He thought sex in the summertime was all the better for being sweaty and overheated, and he thundered against air conditioning for ruining it.

Unless he was working, cooking or sleeping, he was seldom inside his house. His real home was in the backyard, where the walls were painted in bright, Mexican-inspired colours. Hummingbirds dive-bombed each other at the feeders, the males flashing iridescent green, purple and ruby at their throats. There was shade from a spreading mesquite tree, and the beds were planted with cactus and succulents. When the night-blooming cereus unfurled their outrageous flowers in midsummer, Chuck would hold parties in their honour, and plunge his face into the spreading, heavily scented white blooms with the purest ecstasy.

Chuck’s sensory awareness offered a kind of refuge, a last-ditch hope of an honest connection to a real, living world

He relished intense heat, bitter cold, thunderstorms, and reeking pitch-black bat caves. He craved sensory bombardment, and loved everything that amplified the feeling of being physically alive, right here, right now, in the present moment. Television bored him. It was a cold dead machine dispensing clichés and imitating life in two dimensions. He never went to the movies, to gaze at a screen with a herd of silent strangers in a climate-controlled room. He loved wine, but he had no interest in identifying its characteristics, or analysing its nuances. If it was big and red, sluicing across his palate, and coursing through his bloodstream, he was delighted by it.

Read the whole thing here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Let's Watch the New Giant Sand Video

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2015 at 5:30 PM

Here's the crazy new video for "Transponder" from Giant Sand's Heartbreak Pass, which dropped a few weeks ago. For more on Howe Gelb's three decades with Giant Sand, check out Linda Ray's terrific TW profile.

Meanwhile, in Other News . . .

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2015 at 4:30 PM

  • Courtesy of PhotoSpin

Here are a few interesting stories from places other than Arizona.

Minnesota Governor Pledges to Veto a $400 Million Increase in School Funds. The problem, according to Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, is that a $400 million increase in school funding isn't enough. He's demanding that the Republicans add another $125 million to the total.

Newark, NJ, Mayor Joins Mob, Blocks Major Thoroughfare. It wasn't actually a mob Newark Mayor Ras Baraka joined. He came together with hundreds of teachers, parents and students who were protesting the control of Newark schools by the "education reform"/privatization leadership in the state capitol.

Bank Robbers Who Stole Billions From Citizens and Communities Go Free
. These aren't people who rob banks. They're bankers who rob people. "Five big banks have agreed to pay about $5.6 billion and plead guilty to multiple crimes related to manipulating foreign currencies and interest rates, federal and state authorities announced on Wednesday." No one, so far as I know, is going to jail.

Los Angeles Takes Money From Businesses, Gives It to Employees. The L.A. city council voted 14-1 to phase in a $15-per-hour minimum wage by 2020. L.A. joined Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland and other cities by ratifying the raise.

First Lady Kicks Butt, Thinks She's a Good Role Model for Children. Actually, it was a heavy bag Michelle Obama kicked, and punched (rather convincingly, I might add). It was part of her “#GimmeFive” campaign on healthy living, showing kids that exercise can be both fun and good for you.

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Bisbee's Beast Brewing Is Now Selling Bottled Beer

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2015 at 3:30 PM

Look for this brew at a Whole Foods near you. - COURTESY OF BEAST BREWING
  • Courtesy of Beast Brewing
  • Look for this brew at a Whole Foods near you.

Good news, everyone! You don't have to drive an hour and a half to get some Beast Brewing beer anymore. That's because the brewery to the southwest of the Old Pueblo is now selling their first bottled brew.

Starting Thursday, May 21, all of the Whole Foods Market locations in Arizona will be carrying 12-ounce bottles of Beast Brewing's first packaged beer: the Sexy Beast Coffee Stout. The beer is brewed with Old Bisbee Roasters' organic Nicaraguan coffee, making it a good pick-me-up kind of drink. According to the brewery, the Sexy Beast name comes from the drink's unique body.

It has a smooth, sexy texture, is medium bodied and perfect for the Arizona climate. It has a chocolate malt & coffee backbone with hints of nuttiness.

The Baja Arizona brewery, which opened a little over a year ago, will also be releasing their flagship strong pale ale in bottles within the next few weeks. 

In a statement, Beast Brewing owner Amanda Gibson said that while the bottles will help keep up with demand, she also hopes it will increase the brewery's steadily growing fan base. 

“Bringing bottles to Beast Brewing means we can reach that many more fans," Gibson said. "Bottles allow us to break into more accounts and give our fans the chance to bring our beer home to enjoy and share with friends, making us more of a household name. “

You can find bottles of Beast Brewing's Sexy Beast coffee stout beginning Thursday at the three Tucson Whole Foods Market locations: 3360 E. Speedway Blvd., 5555 E. River Road and 7133 N. Oracle Road.

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  1. Tap & Bottle Welcomes Connor Mansager as First Bar Manager (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. Have You Seen Charles? (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. There's a March Against Monsanto Saturday (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. U.S. Senate Committee OKs Measure That Would Allow VA Physicians to Recommend Medical Marijuana (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. Bisbee's Beast Brewing Is Now Selling Bottled Beer (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

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