Considering the bankruptcy of the Catholic Diocese of Tucson, our fair city has the ugly distinction of being one of the epicenters of the Church's child-molestation scandal. Several dozen people who claim to have been molested have filed suit against the Diocese of Tucson. It's a sad, sad story.
Meet Gary Bergeron. He's an abuse survivor from the biggest abuse epicenter, Boston. The former carpenter is also the author of Don't Call Me a Victim: Faith, Hope and Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church. Bergeron and his elderly father--also an abuse survivor--traveled to Rome in March 2003 and became the first abuse survivors from the United States to be recognized by the Vatican. Bergeron has since founded the T.R.U.S.T. Foundation, "a nonprofit foundation formed to aid adult survivors of sexual abuse in recovery and treatment."
He's coming to Tucson to give a talk and sign his book at the SACASA offices. Sponsored by the local chapters of Voice of the Faithful and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), his talk is free. Copies of the book may be purchased for $24.95, and a portion of those proceeds will be donated to survivor support groups. Call the above number for more information.
Ya notice how certain segments of our society like to romanticize the '50s, making the decade sound like it was the Greatest Decade Ever? So what if it was a time of segregation, few women's rights, Cold War nuke fears and ecological horrors?
One of the most fervent segments when it comes to romanticizing the '50s is marketing people. Thus, you get press releases saying stuff such as, "Back when bands and groups were born of talent and not marketability. When the music industry had standards, high ones--and you always got what you paid for. A time when we didn't lock our doors, Sundays were for family dinners, and the music you loved was melodic and romantic and the lyrics made sense."
The above dreck is referring to "A Night to Remember"--a concert featuring The Ink Spots, The Four Lads and (sort of) The Mills Brothers. Dreck aside, this is a great lineup; The Ink Spots have had 80 chart hits, and The Four Lads have sold 50 million singles and albums. Meanwhile, The Mills Brothers won't really be there, but instead will be represented by John H. Mills II, giving "tribute" to his father and uncles, plus former Platters member Elmer Hopper.
Tickets for this Tuesday evening event cost $40 to $49.50 plus "convenience fees" (which are not convenient at all), and are available at the TCC ticket office or through Ticketmaster.
The news broke this week that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will soon announce a cease-fire in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which makes former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak's scheduled speech in Tucson next week as timely as ever.
The topic of his speech: "Prospects for Peace in the Post-Arafat Era." It's a topic he knows as well as anybody; as prime minister from 1999-2001, he worked with President Bill Clinton on peace agreements with Syria and the Palestinian Authority. He also served in the Israeli Defense Forces for 36 years, including a stint as the chief of the general staff for the IDF, during which he worked on the 1994 peace treaty with Jordan. He is the most decorated soldier in Israel's history.
He'll be the keynote speaker for the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona's Israel Chai fund-raiser, part of an annual campaign to raise money for the federation's "family of beneficiary agencies which provide services to Jews and non-Jews in Tucson, Israel and 60 countries around the world," according to the news release. Locally, those agencies include Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging, the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation and the Tucson Jewish Community Center.
Barak's speech is open to everybody, but reservations are a must. Admission is a minimum donation of $36 (tax-deductible). For more information or to make reservations, call 577-3939.
The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show is wrapping up this weekend, so you have only a few select days left to check out all the goodies from exhibitors from around the world.
One of the more interesting Gem and Mineral Show locations can be found on the southside, in the form of the American Indian Exposition. The show features the work of more than 40 Native American artists from various tribes throughout North America. According to the news release, the rotating offerings, programs and entertainment may include wood carvings from Juneau, Alaska; the stone carvings and doll-making of Phil Beaumont, from the Crow Tribe in Montana, and his wife, Vivian Ayoungman, from the Blood Reserve in Canada; Aztec dancers from Mexico City; and more. (I say "rotating offerings" and "may include" because, according to the organizers, the exhibitors will be constantly changing "due to family, livestock and religious obligations.")
There will be food, too, featuring "world-famous Indian fry bread, buffalo hamburgers, Navajo tacos and mutton stew" from the Navajo Reservation's McCabe family. Yum.
This is just one of nearly three-dozen shows still going on as part of the Gem and Mineral Show, most of which are open to the public. For more information, visit www.tucsonshowguide.com/tsg.