Most of us here at the Tucson Weekly think that reading is swell. Since we, after all, work for a newspaper, that may not be a big surprise. The ability and desire to read, especially when it begins in childhood, is beneficial in many ways. It educates, entertains, broadens horizons and enriches lives. But what about kids, who are too young to read the Tucson Weekly? Well, now they've got the Plant a Seed ... Read! Summer Reading Club, courtesy of the Tucson-Pima Public Library.
The program aims to introduce kids to the fun and excitement of reading while showing them how it can help them to perform better in school. This year, the program's theme is the wonders of nature, and it includes presentations for the whole family by the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, the International Wildlife Museum and the Reid Park Zoo.
Kids can sign up for the free program and pick up their reading folder at any branch of the library, and then the adventure begins. For every four hours the child reads (either to themselves or to someone else), an incentive is earned, such as pencils, insect finger puppets, butterfly gliders, Tucson Sidewinders tickets and other fun prizes. Time during which other people read to the child counts for points, too!
There is also a similar summer reading club for teens, Read Into Action! For details on either program, call your local library or visit tppl.org.
To many Tucson residents, the phrase "recreational shooting" brings to mind the story about the Darwin Award winner who decided it would be fun to shoot at a large saguaro cactus. Unsurprisingly, the weakened saguaro proceeded to recreationally fall on the hapless fellow.
Now, I'm not a recreational shooter (and it's not something that I would suggest to my friends for a fun Saturday night), but it's a common practice in Southern Arizona, and many participants don't know the laws, restrictions and environmental implications of their chosen activity.
The term "recreational shooting" specifically excludes hunting, and is defined as "the discharge of any firearm for any lawful, recreational purpose other than the lawful taking of a game animal." Shooting can be a problem when it's done in the wrong places or in the wrong company (say, in a family picnic area or point-blank at a heavy saguaro). It is for this reason that a multi-agency coalition has formed a series of workshops addressing important topics for the shooting community, such as safety, appropriate locations, resource impacts and education. They invite local shooters for fun to attend, discuss and learn about important issues in cooperation with public land managers and others.
Participating organizations include federal, state and local agencies, as well as representatives from a variety of user groups, including the National Rifle Association. There will be an opportunity for participants to submit formal comments as well as a question-and-answer session.
The City Week section is known as a good source of activities for the bright young things of Tucson, as well as the bright slightly older things and their children. But this doesn't mean City Week has nothing fun for people with more years under their belt. In fact, this week holds two exciting events for the older members of our fine city.
The Desert Crones of Tucson, a diverse group of elder people, is a valuable resource to Tucson's older community. The name may seem peculiar to people who are accustomed to "crone" being a derogatory term, but the Desert Crones have a different approach. To use a phrase coined by historian George Lipsitz, they are "turning a negative ascription into positive affirmation," thereby destroying the word's negative power.
The group's stated goal is "to celebrate the aging process and develop strong, positive attitudes in later life." Every Thursday, the Crones schedule an activity such as education, music, entertainment or guest speakers. By encouraging older folks to get out of the house and connect with others, they provide a place to share resources, voice concerns and enjoy later life through conscious aging.
This Thursday, Sylvia McConico leads a storytelling session. On Friday, May 21, a therapeutic community drumming session is slated to be held in Goddard Hall. Call or visit the group's Web site for future events.
It sounds like a Frankenstein-esque experiment: Major Lingo meets the Wayback Machine. In reality, though, this hybrid is the convergence of two Arizona bands at Saturday night's free-for-all Barefoot Boogie Dance Jam. Held in a dance studio/warehouse, the big wood dance floor just begs to be danced, played and cavorted upon. It's a good thing, then, that the show welcomes fun-loving folks of all ages.
Major Lingo is a four-piece ensemble that has been writing and performing original works for 20 years. The unique band features a lap steel guitar, and their sound has been described as, "psychedelic rock, reggae, a little ska, a little funk and some outrageous interpretations of the Beatles (John Lennon mostly) ..." They even describe themselves as "(Grateful) Dead-like," but with the disclaimer that Major Lingo does not perform covers of Dead songs.
The Wayback Machine will round out the evening with their ever-changing identity: Will it be an acoustic quartet tonight, or an acoustic five- or six-piece with drums? A plethora of musical free agents join in at various performances, mixing it up even more. For this performance, according to the band's press release, the band will be playing in "full-on electric mode," with special guests Danny Krieger and Amochip Dabney.
Doors open at 8:30 for the 9 p.m. show. Tickets for the all-ages, smoke-free event are $5 at the door.