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SPAY AWAY: In case you haven't noticed, our dusty old burg is overrun with homeless dogs and cats in dire need of new homes. Unfortunately, few of them will find new families; thousands of unwanted animals are euthanized by the Human Society and Pima County Animal Control each year.

But concerned pet owners can help solve this problem from the get-go, thanks to a discount animal sterilization program sponsored by the Southern Arizona Veterinary Medical Association and several Tucson kennel and breeders' clubs.

The high-minded vets donated their time, facilities and supplies free of charge for folks not otherwise able to afford spays and neutering. To find out more about this great program, call 325-0311, ext. 154.

SOUTHERN LIGHTS: The UA Steward Observatory continues its long-running lecture series with Astronomy at the South Pole.

The lecture will feature Steward's Christopher Walker, and follow with free viewing from the observatory's 21-inch scope.

The free event is at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, October 9 in the Steward Observatory, 933 N. Cherry Ave., north of University Boulevard. Call 621-5049 for details.

BLUES NIGHT OUT: Downtown Saturday Night salutes Blues Week on October 7 with performances throughout the urban core. Woody & the G-Men will grace the Ronstadt Transit Center from 7 to 10 p.m., while the cool tunes of David Moore will waft through Arizona Alley from 7 to 8:30 p.m., followed by Tommy Tucker from 8:30 to 10 p.m.

Check out the swinging sounds of Liz Fletcher and the Broadway Tramps from 8 to 10 p.m. on the Fifth Avenue stage. Buzzard Luck plays from 7 to 10 p.m. on Pennington Street, and Lisa Otey and Kathleen Williamson light up Barrio Grill, 135 S. Sixth Ave., from 7 to 10 p.m. Tony and the Torpedoes blast through the blues next door at the Art2 Fine Art Market.

All events are free. For information, call 624-9977.

ANCIENT THREADS: Timeless perspectives forcefully combine in Ophelia Meets Artemesia, a group exhibition in the Tucson/Pima Arts Council Community Gallery.

The name refers to a metaphorical, thematic blending of Shakespeare's Ophelia with Artemesia Gentelesche, the 17th-century painter. In case you didn't know, Artemesia empowered herself through her own paintings, in a time when women typically had little power at all. And in this context, Ophelia symbolizes a loss of self-identity common during adolescence.

These high-falutin' threads connect Vickki Dempsey, Maria Harper and Io Palmer, three women artists of different ages and from diverse backgrounds. Through photo-based art, installation, video and ceramics, they explore how familial and personal relationships, and mass media impact our lives.

Ophelia Meets Artemesia runs through November 10, with an opening reception from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, October 6 in the T/PAC Community Gallery, 240 N. Stone Ave. Regular gallery hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 624-0595 for details.

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