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LIZARD LORE. Ethnobotanist Gary Nabhan has gained national recognition for his affectionate but clear-eyed writing on the often troubled relationship between man and nature in the Southwest. Currently director of science outreach at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, he'll share his perspective with a lecture on the lifeways of coastal Sonora's Seri Indians. Titled Reptiles As Resources, Curses and Cures: Seri Traditional Knowledge of Wildlife, the free talk is sponsored by the UA Department of Anthropology and the Arizona State Museum.
Tonight's lecture is at 7:30 p.m. in the UA Economics Building Room 110, located inside the main gate on Park Avenue, two buildings east of the State Museum. For information, call 626-8290.
DIAL R. You've used them, abused them, and now aim to toss them aside like unwanted stepchildren. But you can bid your tired old phone books a more dignified--and conscientious--farewell by depositing them in recycling boxes outside Safeway stores all over town. In fact, today's the last chance to give those weary tomes a new lease on life, and spare a few trees in the process.
For details on recycling locations, call 791-5000.
KICKING IT UP. Now's the chance to kick up your heels and blow off the stink at the Dancing Jamboree Sampler.
No need to be a Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers: Professional instructors will be on hand to teach you the ins-and-outs of fancy footsteps, ranging from line dancing, clogging and country swing to ballroom, polka and contra dancing. Everyone--including singles, couples and entire families--is welcome for this twinkle-toes "taster," hosted by the Tucson Twirler Square Dance Club and the Square and Round Dance Center.
Free event begins at 7:30 tonight and Friday, September 11, in the Square and Round Dance Center, 613 E. Delano St. Call 795-8288 for information.
ANOTHER KINDA KICK. It's been immortalized as the Mother Road, a two-lane narrative of the American experience stretching from Illinois cornfields to the beaches of California. While it may have lost its kick, the highway of dreams is brilliantly portrayed in Bypassed Places: Route 66, a collection of photographs by Tucsonan Cy Lehrer on display at Tohono Chul Park.
Through more than 30 black-and-white images, Lehrer presents not so much a sentimental journey as a poignant portrait of chance and loss in communities along the once-bustling thoroughfare. His pieces capture a strong sense of place, providing footnotes from a more personal era when mom-and-pop businesses dotted the landscape: an abandoned gas station stands ghost-like against a cloudy horizon; a dilapidated welcome sign is hoisted alongside a broken fence.
These works comment on modern culture while recalling a nearly forgotten past, often representing the ravages of a society hurtling towards endless, hell-bent change.
"In a way, my interest in some of these places has to do with my own sense of mortality," Lehrer says. Still, the determined denizens of Route 66 provided a refreshing antidote. "People are persisting, and with a tremendous sense of humor in many cases," he says.
Bypassed Places will show in conjunction with Vacant Eden: Images from Tucson's Roadside Past, a group of photographs by Abigail Gumbiner and Carol Hayden.
Exhibit runs through November 8, with an opening reception from
2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, September 12, in the Tohono Chul Exhibit
Hall, 7366 N. Paseo del Norte. Regular gallery hours are 9:30
SMOKE THIS. Is the Drug War a battle worth fighting, or just an endless, costly skirmish? The Tucson Institute folks know what they think, and it ain't pretty. Today, they let others air their own perspectives with a "Common Sense Forum" titled Smoke and Mirrors: The War on Drugs, the Politics of Failure.
This free forum runs from 1:30 to
MONSOON WINDS. Showing that there's more to our seasonal tumult than billowing clouds, electrical storms and high humidity, the Arizona Symphonic Winds take to the open air stage for their second fall concert.
The musical roster will include Von Suppe, Tchaikovsky and Estefan, as well as Vivaldi's Concerto for Two Flutes, featuring soloists Al Vreeland and Fran Moskovitz.
Arrive early and bring a picnic, lawn chairs, blankets, and a bevy of friends for this special outing under the stars. Tonight's free concert is at 7 p.m. in Udall Park, 7200 E. Tanque Verde Road. Shuttle service is offered from the Catalina Village Shopping Center, one mile east of the park. For details, call 531-9836.
RUNNING FOR COVER. Love 'em or hate 'em, the dedicated folks of the Southwest Center for Biological Diversity have raised awareness of our region's natural heritage to new heights. Today they take that mission one step further with Nowhere to Hide, a new exhibit featuring art "that stands up to all forces that are bulldozing and paving wild places in every bioregion."
This nationally juried show includes artists from 12 states, all addressing the issues of growth and the needs of native species through a number of media and a striking array of visions.
Exhibit runs through September 26, with an opening reception tonight from 7 to 10 p.m. in the Central Arts Collective, 188 E. Broadway. Regular gallery hours are noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and during Downtown Saturday Night. Call 623-5883 for details.
GALACTIC GIVING. Gain heavenly perspectives and mortal satisfaction from the UA Flandrau Science Center-hosted "Telescopes for Telethon," a Muscular Dystrophy Association benefit.
The MDA's annual Labor Day fundraising juggernaut kicks off today. Flandrau gets in on the action by offering visits to hands-on exhibit areas, and stunning glimpses through their professional telescope. Recently computerized, the scope can now spot double-star systems, nebulae and galaxies formerly too tough to locate. A small donation is requested for each viewing.
As an added bonus, tonight's sky will be lit by a full moon, and also will clearly reveal Jupiter's cloud belts and moons. And at 8 p.m., world-famous comet-spotter David Levy will discuss constellation lore, planets, comets and other inhabitants of the big yonder in a lecture titled More Things in Heaven and Earth, based on his latest book by the same name. He'll sign copies following the talk, with sales benefiting the MDA.
Event runs from 7 p.m. to midnight in the Flandrau Science Center, located on campus at the northeast corner of Cherry Street and University Boulevard. Admission is free. Call 621-4515 for details.
SPICE TWIRLS. The Tucson Jazz Society throws fuel on the seasonal fire with another perennially popular Some Like It Hot salsa cook-off and dance party.
This year's rhythmic roster will include The Tucson Latin Jazz Orchestra and Descarga. They'll warm things up with powerful jazz, salsa, meringues, cumbias and other dance music from southern climes. Both bands will also celebrate the release of their collaborative recording, Rumba del Sol, which features special guests Poncho Sanchez, Adalberto, Paul Horn and Tony Malaby.
Then comes the sauce. Folks wishing to compete in the cook-off must bring two quarts of their best concoctions in containers with lids, and register by 7:30 p.m. Entry fee is $5, and prizes range from $100 for the top sauce to T-shirts, records and other good stuff for runners-up.
Event runs from 8 p.m. to midnight at St. Philip's Plaza, 4380 N. Campbell Ave. Admission is $10, $5 for TJS members. Call 743-3399 for information.
LILTING LIT. The high-falutin' and well-fluted rub shoulders today at Bookman's Used Books, where The Sheridan Duo gives a free concert. This musical pair, known also as "The Married Flutes," consists of Peter Sheridan and Lisa-Maree Amos, and their musical style ranges from classical to folk.
Concert runs from 3 to 4 p.m. in Bookman's, 1930 E. Grant Road. For more information, call 325-5767.
BIG PICTURE. For more than two decades, artist Anne Coe has examined the earth's creatures, both wild and civilized. The result is an inventory of realistic, narrative paintings addressing the need to take better care of both. Now her latest work appears in Life Examined, on display in the UA Joseph Gross Gallery.
Whimsical, meticulously rendered, and quite timely, Coe's pieces rely heavily on symbolism and allegory to convey heartfelt messages about the nobility of the animal world, and how we humanoids must act to co-exist peaceably with it.
Not surprisingly, the Arizona native pokes fun at the folly of land developers, ranchers and a public unwilling to see the destruction caused by overpopulation in the fragile desert. In the past, she achieved this through outrageous scenes like a huge Gila monster rampaging across the landscape in response to nuclear power plants, or coyotes commandeering pink Cadillacs among the cacti.
These days, Coe's style has turned more serious. Life Examined focuses on such themes as science's fascination with cloning, and research using sheep and monkeys. Tapping a Renaissance perspective, she juxtaposes interior space against sweeping, dramatic landscapes, all within the context of a Flemish still-life motif where every object is imbued with deeper meaning.
Exhibit runs through September 24 in the UA Joseph Gross Gallery, located in the Student Union north of the main mall. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The gallery will also be open from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday starting September 13. For details, call 626-4215.
COLOSSAL RELIEF. Did you know that it's always a refreshing 70 degrees in the bowels of Colossal Cave? Or that this longtime tourist outpost in the Rincon Mountains dishes up a rich smorgasbord of Americana, from trail rides and cowboy cookouts to a gift shop reportedly offering tiny cacti in little boots and wee Stetsons?
But there's also deep geological education to be had: With more than 32 miles of mapped passages, the huge subterranean cleft reveals that the Copper State was once a big, briny sea.
There's also plenty of folklore about the usual array of hidden treasure, bandits and other such shenanigans. And on September 12 and 19, the cave will host "Ladder Tours," taking adventurous souls along normally off-limits side tunnels, and ending with a big grubfest. Cost is $35 per person, and reservations are required.
Colossal Cave Mountain Park is located 22 miles east of Tucson, at 16711 E. Colossal Cave Road. Take I-10 east to the Vail exit, then drive seven miles north. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday and holidays through September 16. Starting September 17, hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday and holidays. Admission is $7.50, $4 for children ages 6 to 12, free for children ages 5 and under. For reservations and information, call 647-7275.
TRADE-OFF. Sick of giving your hard-earned money to snotty clerks in faceless shopping centers? Tucson Traders offers a friendly alternative through a system of bartering and swapping for the stuff you need. They're mobilizing a growing army of people who just might be able to roof your house, program your computer or simply wash the dog, tapping such collective resources by trading skills and services via "Tucson Tokens."
Find out more when Tucson Traders hosts a potluck at 6 tonight at the playground ramada next to the Northwest Neighborhood Center, 2160 N. Sixth Ave. Call 388-8844 for details.
CAT ACRES. If there's a God of Felines, it's surely purring benevolently over The Hermitage Cat Shelter. Dedicated Hermitage staffers don't euthanize their wards, but instead give them good care until a home is found. Obviously, there's a catch: Space and funds at the Hermitage are limited, so they can't take all comers. Still, in the last year they've managed to place 140 of their furry residents with caring owners.
And that's where the rest of us come in. Over the last few months, shelter dwellers have suffered endless bouts with upper-respiratory infections, and that costs plenty of cash to treat. The good news: Most of the cats and kitten are on the road to recovery.
But the need for donated time and money continues. To find out how you can help, visit the shelter between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily, excepting Tuesdays, and the first Monday of the month. You'll have a chance to watch the cleaning chores and grooming action up-close and personal. The Hermitage Cat Shelter is at 5278 E. 21st St. Call 571-7839 for information.
City Week includes events selected by Calendar Editor Tim Vanderpool. Event information is accurate as of press time. The Weekly recommends calling event organizers to check for last-minute changes in location, time, price, etc. To have material considered, please send complete information at least 11 days prior to the Thursday issue date to: Tucson Weekly, P.O. Box 2429, Tucson, Arizona 85702, or fax information to 792-2096, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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