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Thursday 2

CAN YOU DIG IT? Let's say you just bought a new home and, like the ad said, the yard needed a bit of TLC. But a closer look revealed what the yard really needed: one hell of a lot of work.

The "newcomers class" at Tucson Botanical Gardens can help you become familiar with Tucson's seasons and soils, and basic design principles. You'll find out about plants that will help you create a garden of beauty and comfort in our desert environment.

Discussion of proper techniques for watering and planting is included. Class concludes with a walking tour of the gardens, where instructors will point out many examples of excellent trees, shrubs and ground covers.

Handouts on desert landscaping and a resource list are provided, and the class is taught by trained docents.

Pre-registration is not required. The event is from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. today at Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way. Admission costs $8 for nonmembers, $6 members. That includes admission to the gardens. If you can't make this newcomers class, mark your calendar for the next one; the classes are offered monthly, the first Thursday and third Saturday. For more information, call 326-9686.

EVERYTHING THEY'RE CRACKED UP TO BE. This San Diego band's notched 1,000 live performances and has an active mailing list of 15,000 fans.

Simply put, Soulcracker, still trying to score big with record companies, has ignited the United States with its original music and high-energy performances.

The band's well-written lyrics, catchy melodies and driving rhythm have convinced large audiences throughout the country.

Check out Soulcracker tonight at The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave. For show time and ticket information, call 629-9211.


Friday 3

HOOT AND HOLLER. Glenda Young as Miss Crystal stars in a new Western musical theater revue that may have you humming along and tapping your feet.

Buckskin, Satin and Song features tunes from the Great White Way (Oklahoma, Annie Get Your Gun and Roadside) to the more traditional Western melodies and Puccini's La Fanciulla del West. Other titles include "Whoopie-Ti-Yi-Yo," "Walkin' the Floor over You" and "Don't Call Me Trailer Trash."

The Crystal Palace Players include Erin Booth as the hard-to-tame Sally, Katherine Byrnes as dance hall hostess Pearl, and Drew Humphrey as a bragging cowboy named Tex.

The production opens at 7 tonight and runs through November 4 at Hidden Valley Inn, 4825 N. Sabino Canyon Road. Doors open at 5:30 for an optional dinner (entrées start at $7.95). Tickets for the show cost $13.95 for adults. Children 12 and under get in for $8.95. For more information, or to make reservations, call 299-4941.

BISBEE-BOUND. A classic "hiss the villain" may be worth an outing to Bisbee.

Coming off a successful production of Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr., Bisbee Repertory Theatre announces its latest teen show. The young actors will produce a classic melodrama called Streets of New York.

The show opens at 7:30 tonight. Other performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at the theater at 94 Main St. General admission costs $5. For more information, call C. Gilles-Brown at 520-432-2901.


Saturday 4

RED HOT SAUCE. Living Blues called C.J. Chenier the "best living zydeco singer and accordionist."

The son of Clifton Chenier, the legendary founder of zydeco music, C.J. Chenier began playing saxophone in his father's band in 1978 and learned accordion in 1983.

With more than a nod to his father's classic zydeco style, the younger Chenier adds deft touches of rock and rhythm and blues stylings to create an inventive, original sound.

The Washington Post has praised Chenier for "taking the genre into the R&B mainstream."

Chenier's Red Hot Louisiana Band brings the bayou to Tucson for a concert you don't want to miss.

Tonight's performance at 8 is part of Plaza Palomino's Courtyard Concert Series. Palomino Plaza is located at Fort Lowell and Swan roads. Tickets cost $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Advance tickets are available at Antigone Books, Brew and Vine, City Grill, Hear's Music and Enchanted Earthworks. To charge tickets by phone or for more information, call 297-9133. You can also charge tickets online by going to www.dotucson.com and clicking on "concerts."

PUT DOWN THE CHEETOS. Single? Bored? Too busy to plan? Are all your friends married? Are you sick and tired of Cheetos and a movie every Saturday night?

Consider the following: theater, skydiving, murder mystery dinners, camping, picnics, wine tastings and dancing. Not enough? What about travel, theme parties, golf, happy hour, cooking classes, skiing, concerts and fine dining?

The list of activities offered through Tucson Fun and Adventures goes on and on. (Maybe you've heard the goofy commercial on the radio.)

Hey, if you're single and ready to meet some new friends, you may want to check out the group that boasts more than 350 members who participate in 20 to 30 events every month.

Event coordinators take care of all the details so all you have to do is show up. It's easy, it's safe and it's a comfortable way to meet other quality single men and women who share your interests. (Not to mention more fun than lurking in a supermarket.)

Find out if the group might be for you in an informational meeting at 11 a.m. today at Coffee X Change, 4951 E. Grant Road. For more information, call 256-3866.

PEDAL POWER. Get some exercise this weekend with two days of cycling with Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists.

Get up with the birds this morning and make your way to the Reid Park DoubleTree Inn, on Alvernon Way between Broadway and 22nd, for a Show 'n' Go ride--the group decides where to ride. The ride starts at 6:30 a.m.

If that's a bit too early, or you can't make it today, Sunday's 15-mile ride to Golder Ranch meets at the cattle guard at the end of the pavement on Golder Ranch Road at 5:30 p.m.

The club rides often. For more information about these or other upcoming rides, call Lee Katterman at 275-1227.

TAKE A HIKE. Backpacker Magazine's "get out more" team is in town.

The team will be bringing tips and suggestions on how you can spend more time in the outdoors and wilderness.

These experts are traveling the country sharing their wisdom with stories that are informative and entertaining. Reps from Lowa Boots, Leki Hiking Poles, Princeton Tec lights and Cascade Designs will be on hand for an event today.

Prizes, giveaways and special offers round out the festivities from 2 to 6 p.m. at Summit Hut on Speedway. For more information, call Terri Gay or Sharon Scott at 325-1554, e-mail sharon@summithut.com, or go to www.summithut.com. For more details about the "get out more" team and program, check out www.backpacker.com


Sunday 5

GRAINY AFTERNOON. Take the kids downtown this afternoon for a couple of hours of playing in the sand.

The Tucson Children's Museum offers an opportunity for kids to delight in the artistic possibilities of sand. Activities include pouring colored sand in layers into a cup to create a unique work of art.

The sand sculptures event is from 1:30 to 3 p.m. today at 200 S. Sixth Ave. Admission prices are $5.50 adults, $4.50 seniors and $3.50 children. Regular museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call 792-9985, ext. 112.


Monday 6

GET RELIEF. Find out more about bio-magnetic touch healing.

Family and friends are invited to an open house and free presentation on these techniques, which have been shown by research to reduce stress and pain.

The open house starts at 7 p.m. at 5447 E. Fifth St., Suite 111. Refreshments will be served. Everyone is welcome. For more information, call 323-7951 or visit www.justtouch.com.


Tuesday 7

VERY SPECIAL SUMMER CAMP. If your child is among the 4,000 kids in Arizona who have arthritis, here's a bit of good news.

Camp Cruz, the tenth annual summer camp for children with arthritis, starts today and runs through August 12 at Camp Tatiyee in Lakeside.

The camp, sponsored by the Southern Arizona chapter of the Arthritis Foundation, is located just outside of Show Low in the tall, cool pines of the White Mountains.

Programs and activities are designed to enable campers to develop new skills, increase their self-esteem, enhance leadership abilities, and take responsibility for their own health maintenance. But most of all, the camp is about having fun. Activities include horseback riding, swimming, arts and crafts, nature walks and fishing.

The camp costs $125. Full scholarships are available. For more information, call Jolene Helt at 917-7070.


Wednesday 8

THIS TALK AIN'T CHEAP. Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, will talk about how to apply his principles in the workplace.

Should be interesting, but the tips come at a cost--tickets are $159 to $199, depending on the number of people in your party.

More than 12 million copies of Covey's book have been sold. It's a decade old, but the book remains a best-seller. So you might learn a thing or two during Covey's talk, called Lessons in Leadership.

The event, hosted by the UA Extended University, is from 7:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at the Inn Suites Hotel, 475 N. Granada Ave. A light lunch will be served from 10 to 11 a.m. For reservations, call 800-689-9771 or visit www.lessonsinleadership.com.

MORE ON MARS. The MarsQuest exhibit at Park Place is still open--but it won't be for much longer.

MarsQuest, an exhibit of national stature developed by NASA, the Space Science Institute of Boulder, the University of Colorado and Arizona State University, ends August 31.

The exhibit is designed to provide visitors with a first-hand sense of exploration in an entertaining and exciting way. MarsQuest will inspire and motivate children and adults to share in the excitement and discoveries of this unprecedented era of Mars exploration.

MarsQuest has more than 20 interactive experiences and four demonstration models that allow visitors to play the part of explorers on Mars.

Visitors can send commands to maneuver a rover replica of Pathfinder's Sojourner over a simulated Martian landscape; experiment with collage puzzles to learn how scientists assemble larger planetary views from many small images; and handle simulated Martian soil from the Johnson Space Center in Houston

So ... if you haven't seen this first-rate show, just do it.

MarsQuest opens at 10 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon Sundays. Ticket prices cost $4.50 adults, $4 seniors and $3.50 children. For more information, call 792-9985.

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