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Back to the '80s

First Congregational United Church of Christ Monthly '80s Film Fest
7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12
1350 N. Arcadia Ave.
622-7664, www.firstucctucson.org

Big shoulder pads. MTV. A Flock of Seagulls. What do these things have in common? They are all part of the decade when women wore ripped T-shirts off one shoulder and men wore parachute pants. Swish. Swish.

Yep, the '80s. It was a time of Reaganomics, punk music and Pac-Man. We tried to figure out the Rubik's Cube and who shot J.R.

For those nostalgic for the me decade, the First Congregational United Church of Christ is having an '80s fest one Friday night per month until the end of the year. On Aug. 12, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown will be shown in Spanish with English subtitles. Other movies include Bagdad Café on Sept. 16, Diva on Oct. 21, Testament on Nov. 18 and Desperately Seeking Susan on Dec. 9.

Special events coordinator Harvey Kivel says the films don't have to do with religion. "We came up with the theme because we wanted to open this up to the community. There were some good films that came out in the '80s, and we wanted to give people a chance to see them," he says.

It's also a good opportunity for the community to become familiar with the church, which began in Tucson in the 1800s. This year, United Church of Christ churches have embarked on a "God is still speaking" campaign. Kivel says the church believes God is still working. "Some traditions believe God's work was finished in the Bible, but we say God is still here and on the clock, so come on in." And catch some '80s flicks to boot. --I.M.


Biodiversity at Its Best

"Costa Rica: A Wildlife Photo Tour"
7 to 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 17
International Wildlife Museum, 4800 W. Gates Pass Road
629-0100, Ext. 336

The Central American country of Costa Rica has "only about 0.1 percent of the world's land mass, (but) contains 5 percent of the world's

biodiversity ," according to online encyclopedia wikipedia.org.

For Young Cage, a retired airline pilot, going there to explore has been quite an enjoyable experience.

"Costa Rica is a place I have a lot of passion for. It's beautiful and full of natural history," Cage says. He'll be speaking on the wide variety of wildlife he encountered and about the country itself while showing the best photographs from his eight trips to Costa Rica during the past 15 years.

As president of the Tucson Herpetological Society, he expects the hour-long talk will wind up focusing on the "spectacular reptiles and amphibians" found in Costa Rica. The impact of deforestation in Costa Rica also is expected to be discussed. It will finish with a Q&A session. Cage says the best way to describe the event is a geographic tour of Costa Rica.

In addition to the numerous types of animals inside its boundaries, Costa Rica includes an impressive range of ecoregions for its small size, from dry forests to mountainous areas to large swamplands.

"I love to show what I found, and I find that I learn (from doing these), too," he says. This is his first time presenting at the International Wildlife Museum; the presentation is part of its 2005 Natural History Lecture Series.

Admission to this event is free for museum members and $3 for nonmembers. The proceeds from this event will help fund educational projects and other activities at the museum. --M.W.


Learn, Laugh, Spit Up

16th Annual Baby Fair, Sponsored By MIXfm and Babies "R" Us
9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 13
Grand Ballroom Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave.
www.mixfm.com/baby_fair_2005

If you're looking for something for your tiniest one, consider dropping by this weekend's free baby fair.

The fair features family-friendly events throughout the day, including face painters, a staged magic show and a visit from McGruff the Crime Dog, making it something that you can bring your kids to.

"There's tons of stuff that goes on," says Jennifer Nunn, the organizer of the fair for the past eight years. In her regular time, she works for the Journal Broadcasting Group, one of the main sponsors of the fair.

Also on hand will be 80 different vendors, each featuring a prize basket that you can register to win. Most people go home with a mix of free samples, Nunn says.

The baby fair also will cover a variety of safety information, including proper car-seat installation and nutrition. There will be a set of professional doctors making on-stage presentations at 20-minute intervals during the day. Four of Tucson's major hospitals will also have speakers at the fair.

For those who want to subject their children to it, there also are the Diaper Derbies, expected to be good fun. The derbies place the babies in a crawling race to go from point A to point B.

The 16th Annual Baby Fair, sponsored by radio station 94.9 MIXfm and retailer Babies "R" Us, is free to attend, but it costs to park at the convention center. Free parking is available on the street, and metered parking is also within a few blocks.

"It's very informative for the parents and fun for the kids too," Nunn says. --M.W.


Alleviating the Injustice

Opening Reception and Benefit Auction for Michael Sanderson
7 to 11 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 13
Epic Café, 745 N. Fourth Ave.
624-6844, www.epic-cafe.com

On July 23, barista Michael Sanderson was senselessly beaten while walking down Fourth Avenue at night. He received a blow to the head that required him to be taken to the emergency room. He spent more than a week in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital.

For the close-knit members of the Epic Café, it was a shock to see it happen to someone who is said to be a "soft-spoken, polite individual," according to TwoFeathers, Epic Café's owner.

Said fellow barista Jacob Singer: "(Michael is) the worst person for this kind of thing to happen to."

Sanderson, 29, was set to be one of two featured artists this month at Epic Café, but instead, his employer will host a benefit auction that includes work from local artists.

Up for bid are sketches, paintings and other pieces that currently hang inside of the café. One piece of Sanderson's work also will hang there, but it is not for sale.

"It's hard to tell if he'll recover easily," TwoFeathers said. Sanderson faces brain damage after the reportedly unprovoked assault. The person who hit Sanderson was later identified to police by vendors and patrons of Fourth Avenue.

"The local community made sure this piece of shit got off the streets," TwoFeathers said.

Singer said that the response has brought out the feeling that there is an invisible family among the people who frequent Fourth Avenue.

This event is free. All the money raised through this auction will directly help with Sanderson's medical costs. The art will remain hanging at Epic throughout the month, and bids will be taken on them during that time. --M.W.

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