For some reason, I've never imagined a link between airplanes and stamp collectors. But Paula Winn, the director of information for the Tucson Airport Authority, assured me that both will make appearances at the TAA's 60th Anniversary Open House.
One of the many goodies that the TAA will be giving away to the public (for free, yippee!) is a commemorative postal cachet (an envelope postmarked with the date of the memorable event). In this case, the memorable event is a triple celebration--of the 60th anniversary of the airport, the 50th anniversary of the control tower, and the completion of a concourse renovation.
For the public, that translates into free food, musical performances, a look at a local artist's glass masterpiece and a free tour of the Tucson International Airport's main terminal. For younger airplane fans, that translates into being able to view a plethora of airplanes and bringing home a miniature balsa-wood model of a favorite aircraft.
"Most people when they come to the airport think of commercial airplanes, but there's this whole other thing ... which revolves around general aviation," Winn said. That's why attendees will be able to take a short bus ride to the control tower, which assists planes in landing.
Also that day, the Arizona National Guard will conduct a Color Guard ceremony and a flyby at 11 a.m. And, in honor of Leonardo DiCaprio's stunning performance in The Aviator, the TAA will host an Aviation Film Festival.
OK, so I made up that part about DiCaprio, but nonetheless, attendees will be able to view several aviation films.
To attend the TAA's 60th anniversary party, park for free in the economy lot at 2700 E. Corona Road. A shuttle will transport you to the main terminal. --M.N.
You've known every word to every Beatles song since you were 8--and you've always wanted a chance to belt out the words to "Help!" somewhere other than your car during rush hour or your local karaoke dive.
Your time has come.
In honor of what would have been John Lennon's 68th birthday, the Loft Cinema and Broadway in Tucson are presenting a Beatles extravaganza. (Broadway in Tucson is promoting the Dec. 2-7 performances of Rain--A Tribute to the Beatles. )
At the Loft, there will be a sing-along, a Beatles look-alike contest and a screening of the 1988 documentary Imagine: John Lennon.
It is difficult to screen Beatles films, because the rights to so many of the songs are owned by different people. A Hard Day's Night and Imagine: John Lennon are two that can be screened, said Jeff Yanc, program director for the Loft Cinema.
The idea of a sing-along was developed after the Loft showed A Hard Day's Night in August. The theater was packed, and many people in the audience were singing along, Yanc said.
"I can't quite believe we haven't done a Beatles sing-along before," he pondered.
Come dressed up as any mop-topped member of the Fab Four, or perhaps as John and Yoko, for the costume contests. And before finishing the evening with the screening of Imagine: John Lennon, croon off-key to your favorite Beatles and John Lennon songs from your favorite videos.
Don't worry: There will be subtitles. Not that many people will need them.
Admission is $5. --C.C.
Rafael Vega started volunteering after learning that a family member had contracted HIV/AIDS from needle usage eight years ago. That's when Vega first acknowledged that the stereotypes associated with HIV/AIDS were outdated.
"We want to break that stigma that HIV/AIDS is the gay man's disease, because it's not," said Vega, now the program coordinator for Luz Social Services.
In fact, studies released by the Pima County Health Department suggest that heterosexual Latinos are among the populations most affected by AIDS.
"The cases of AIDS between heterosexual Latinos increased 72 percent within the past 10 years," Vega said, referencing the county's statistics. Even more disturbing is the 126 percent increase of HIV/AIDS among Latino females in Pima County during that same period.
As National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (Oct. 15) approaches, several organizations have collaborated to increase HIV/AIDS awareness among the community. This year, the sixth annual HIV/AIDS resource information fair and dinner will be held at Sunnyside High School.
Vega hopes that by hosting the event at a high school, both students and their parents will start talking about a subject that is sometimes considered taboo among Latinos.
Not only will various organizations be providing preventative information and giveaways; the Pima County Health Department will provide HIV testing, free of charge. The first 25 test recipients will receive movie tickets, Vega said.
Later in the evening, Pima County Supervisor Ramón Valadez will speak about the rising epidemic among Latino populations.
Sunnyside's own renowned mariachi troupe will provide entertainment. This event is free and open to the public. --M.N.
Anybody who's visited Guatemala knows about the intricate beauty and colorful patterns of Mayan textiles.
This weekend, however, Tucsonans who haven't visited Guatemala will have the opportunity to buy Mayan weavings--for a good cause--during an exhibition and fundraiser for St. Michael's Guatemala Project.
St. Michael's Guatemala Project is a 15-year partnership between Tucson volunteers and indigenous Mayan communities in Guatemala. The partnership supports communities that were persecuted during the country's 36-year internal conflict. Volunteers support health programs, arts and culture, and the self-determination of indigenous communities, said Ila Abernathy, the program coordinator.
"It's been our honor to have this long association," Abernathy said. "We're particularly happy to celebrate indigenous survivals, and the persistence and resilience of indigenous cultures, on a weekend that includes the traditional 'Columbus Day.'"
An opening reception will feature music by Yaqui classical guitarist Gabriel Ayala.
The textiles that will be on sale are from St. Michael's Guatemala Project workers and from Indígena Imports, an operation run by David Hamilton out of Austin, Texas. The collection that will be offered this weekend spans a wide range of quality and prices, Abernathy said.
This is also one of the most complete collections to visit Tucson, with pieces that represent the weaving traditions of many different communities.
This is the fifth sale that the two groups have had--and it may be their last, as Hamilton is planning on retiring. Tucson is the first stop on a five-city exhibition of the textiles.
"It's visually stupendous," Abernathy said of the textile collection. --C.C.