Tuesday, March 17, 2009

'Citizen' Gets a Reprieve

Posted By on Tue, Mar 17, 2009 at 4:43 PM

We've gotten word from sources at TNI that the Citizen will live on--at least for now.

More details to come.

Update: The Citizen has a story on its Web site about the "day-to-day" reprieve.

(Interim editor Jennifer) Boice told employees that (Gannett honcho) Dickey said negotiations are ongoing with two "very interested buyers" and those negotiations would not be completed by March 21, the date Gannett had set to close the Citizen should a buyer not come forward by March 17.

We can piece some things together here: Gannett previously announced that a deadline for offers had come and gone without anything meaningful. Then came word that the U.S. Justice Department was peeved at Gannett for not making all that much of an effort to sell the afternoon daily--with specific unhappiness about Gannett's demands that any would-be buyers promise to keep the paper going in print at least three times per week.

Well, after the DOJ crackdown--during which Gannett's broker had to touch base with everyone he'd contacted previously--apparently, lo and behold, Gannett found some serious would-be buyers after all.

What this all means remains to be seen.

More to come as things develop.

Adios Just Doesn't Seem Enough

Posted By on Tue, Mar 17, 2009 at 11:08 AM

Today, the Seattle P-I printed its last issue and is moving into a new online-only format. And in only five days, the Tucson Citizen is slated to print its last issue, to--a commemorative issue of the paper's 140-year-history. Every news outlet in Tucson is hurting to some extent right now, along with other industries leaving a trail of layoffs. But this blog on the Citizen's end (wish there was more), brought the paper's end particularly close to home.

For those who have been on a newspaper ride for most of their life, how do you shake your identify as a journalist? I know folks who've easily walked away from the business and have fared just fine in public information jobs or nonprofit work. Others I know recall how odd it was to come to work and want to talk about some news tidbit they heard on the streets, but were treated as if they were gossiping; it's hard to break old habits. Hard to stop getting excited about something you heard or keep yourself from having that gut reaction, "That's a story."

I understand there's a wake being planned at the Shanty on Friday, and there have been online funerary arrangements going on for some time. I'd like to toss back a cold one for the Citizen on Friday--not just for its demise, but for the reporters and editors left wondering what to do next, and what to do with how they identify themselves: JOURNALIST.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

WXSW: One Hell of a Sunday Night

Posted By on Sun, Mar 15, 2009 at 3:25 PM

"Downtown" Aleksa Brown has the scoop on the WXSW fest that begins tonight:

Tonight is the night!

The first night of Tucson’s West By Southwest music festival, that is. This year, shows will take place at Club Congress, Plush, and Solar Culture, with a total of 40 acts playing March 15-17 and March 22-25.

West By Southwest is Tucson’s take on one of the largest music festivals in the country: Austin’s South By Southwest. TW music editor Steve Seigel has more details in his Soundbites column this week.

With hundreds of bands traveling through Tucson to get there, entertainment bookers from local venues got together and organized WXSW, giving musicans a chance to take a break from the road, make a few bucks, and enjoy the Old Pueblo.

Lucky for us, that means seven nights of up-and-coming indie and folk bands playing tracks off their new albums, like Telekinesis, who kick off the festival at 8:30 tonight at Plush, 340 E. Sixth Street.

Telekinesis, a one-man-band featuring Michael Lerner of Seattle, will be playing songs from his debut album Telekinesis! due out April 7.

The album, which was produced by Chris Walla of Death Cab for Cutie, features the song “Coast of Carolina,” which has recently been floating around music websites boasting the band’s talent for making good old-fashioned power-pop and building up anticipation for the album release.

Following Telekinesis tonight will be Say Hi, who is set to take the stage at 9:30.

Say Hi, who is also out of Seattle, is no stranger to playing at Plush.

The sensitive, indie one-man-band, which consists of Eric Elbogen, has already played there three times. This time around, Elbogen will be singing tunes from his sixth album, Oohs and Aahs.

Next on tonight’s line up is (drum roll please…) San Diego-based Rafter.

Rafter, with his firey red hair and penchant for sweaty, rolling-around-on-stage shows, is a must-see. Known for his funky, experimental style and sexed up dance beats, his music is surprisingly catchy. Don’t forget your dancing shoes for this one!

Last but definitely not least, is indie husband-and-wife duo Viva Voce. Known for mixing textures as part of their “sonic tapestry” and entrancing listeners, their new album, Rose City, hits stores May 5. Annie Holub has details about the band in this week's TW.

Stunning in itself, this lineup is only one of seven nights in Tucson’s WXSW music festival. Catch all 40 acts en route to Austin for $8 per show, $10 per week, or $15 for the whole festival.

Judging by tonight’s acts, the $15 sounds like the deal of a lifetime. Just wait until you hear what’s in store for the rest of the week…

Friday, March 13, 2009

'I'm Just a Sweet ...'

Posted By on Fri, Mar 13, 2009 at 9:21 AM

For those who just can't handle midnight or need Rocky Horror in your life more often, the Fox Tucson Theatre is giving everyone a Friday the 13th treat tonight at 8 p.m. Brad and Janet will be there, hoping you bring a little rain ... a little toast ... a little lace ...

I hope to see some Dr. Frank-N-Furters there and some other Tucson Transylvanians. Perhaps a perfect venue for social vampires!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Watch Out, Antenori

Posted By on Thu, Mar 12, 2009 at 8:06 AM

The family of the Iraqi shoe thrower shouldn't be the only group of people protesting the Iraqi journalist's sentence--especially since many on this side of the world thought, "Brilliant!" when they saw the image of those shoes flying toward Dubya on the news. I mean, even now, the shoe antagonist has inspired others to think of ways to use the shoes on their feet.

For example, what about a group heading up to Phoenix to throw some shoes at our Gov. and state legislators? What an image. Shoes cascading down on... well, what about our lovely Frank Antenori? Look in our morning daily coverage on the house's OK for abortion curbs. From good 'ol Frank, R-Nut Heads: We have "a duty to protect either our wives or our daughters from making decisions that may come back to haunt them further down the road in their lives."

Luckily, Frank has never met my mother (she can scare the plants off any Republican), or dozens of other women who do not need anyone's help in making decisions. I thought you Nut Heads were all about less government in our lives? If this is the case, then certainly we don't need state government intervening on our behalf ... and obviously, we need to throw some shoes.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Green With Excitement Over the New Issue

Posted By on Wed, Mar 11, 2009 at 3:32 PM

The new Weekly is online! Feel free to comment on its contents here.

Coming in a few short weeks: The ability to comment on all of our stories individually!

Play Ball!

Posted By on Wed, Mar 11, 2009 at 2:14 PM

Mary Jo Pitzl of the Arizona Republic reports that the House Ways and Means Committee has supported a bill that will let Pima County voters approve a tax to keep baseball alive. This seems like the equivalent of getting a walk to first base when when you're down by a half-dozen runs and already have two outs in the bottom of the ninth.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

ScrambleWatch 2010: Welcome to the Octo-Clash!

Posted By on Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 8:48 PM

The sleepy forecast for this year’s city election already has people playing political parlor games for 2010.

The best one we’ve heard yet: Eight Democrats are considering a run for the two seats in midtown Tucson’s District 28 now held by Democrats Dave Bradley and Steve Farley. That’s even crazier than last year’s seven-way super-slam in the Democratic primary in Legislative District 29.

Farley, who just started his second term, plans to run for reelection. (And he wants you to know there’s no truth to those scurrilous rumors that he’s planning to move to Phoenix or Washington, D.C.)

But Bradley has hit his four-term limit, so he has to find something else to do next year. And that open seat is igniting fires in the bellies of a whole crew of Democrats.

Besides Farley, here’s the line-up of Democrats we’re hearing about:

• Ted Prezelski, the local blogger who finished fourth in a four-way Democratic primary for a LD28 House seat in 2006. (Prezelski’s brother, Tom, was knocked out of the House in the aforementioned 2008 seven-way super-slam in LD 29, but may be plotting his own political comeback in 2010.)

• Ted Downing, the UA professor who had a LD 28 House seat from 2002 to 2006, when he gave it up to make an ill-fated run for the Senate against fellow Democrat Paula Aboud.

• Bruce Wheeler, the feisty former Tucson City Council member who went out in a blaze of glory in a Democratic mayoral primary. Wheeler still has a taste for politics and may want to return to the Arizona Legislature, where he served when he was just a young pup way back in the 1970s.

• Tim Sultan, who lost a Democratic primary to pick a sacrificial lamb to lose to then-Congressman Jim Kolbe in 2004.

• Mohur Sidhwa, a former chair of LD28 who is now a vice-chair of the Arizona Democratic Party.

• Jim Sinex, a math teacher who is currently collecting signatures for a half-dozen or so initiatives designed to revamp city government.

• Jonathan Rothschild, a local attorney and treasurer for the Pima County Democratic Party.

Let the wild rumpus begin!

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Arizona Onstage Productions presents the popular and widely successful The Producers. The Biggest Hit Broadway Musical Comedy… More

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