Sunday, September 30, 2012

Adventures in Aquaponics

Posted By on Sun, Sep 30, 2012 at 12:00 PM

If you want to grow veggies but hate kneeling for hours in a garden, you may want to try aquaponics. From the Tucson AquaPonics Project website (, aquaponics is "the growing of fish and plants together in a closed recirculating system."

The organizer of the project, Casey Townsend, offers several events to educate and inspire the public. He reports that aquaponics systems can not only feed people, but also save water, conserve energy and reduce land usage. Systems can be individual size all the way to commercial systems. (Read more about Townsend and the Tucson AquaPonics Project here).

On the first Tuesday of every month (next is Oct. 2), Townsend teaches a free Intro to Aquaponics class, starting at 6:30 p.m., at the University of Arizona Controlled Environment Agriculture Center, at 1951 E. Roger Road.

On Saturday, Oct. 6, a Fall Tucson Aquaponics Systems Tour will take place. The TAPST is a self-guided tour of more than 10 aquaponics systems in the Tucson area. Participants will see different ways of growing plants and fish together. More details will be announced at the group's Meetup site here.

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Shameless Self-Promotion: 'Tucson Weekly' Wins General Excellence, 35 Other Awards in ANA Contest

Posted By on Sat, Sep 29, 2012 at 6:44 PM

For the third year in a row, the Tucson Weekly was honored with one of the Arizona Newspaper Association’s big awards in the annual Better Newspaper Contest.

The Weekly earned the General Excellence prize for non-daily newspapers with a circulation of more than 10,000. The Weekly earned the same honor in 2010, and was the Non-Daily Newspaper of the Year in 2011.

The Weekly advertising side also earned general-excellence honors.

In total, the Weekly editorial side took home 29 awards, including nine first-place honors. The contest covered work done from May 1, 2011, through April 30. The results were announced on Saturday, Sept. 29, at the annual ANA convention.

In the ANA’s advertising contest, the Weekly earned six awards—including four first-place prizes.

The editorial awards (all in the category of non-dailies with a circulation of more than 10,000):

• In the newspaper-wide (non-individual) editorial awards, the Weekly won first place for Departmental News/Copy Editing Excellence; and Page Design Excellence.

• The paper nabbed second place for Best Newspaper Website; Community Service/Journalistic Achievement; Reporting and News Writing Excellence; and Special Section (for the Best of Tucson® 2011).

• The Weekly won third place for Editorial Page Excellence.

The Weekly’s 21 individual awards:

• The Weekly swept the Investigative Reporting category. Tim Vanderpool won first place for “Defending the Innocent” (May 19, 2011) and second place for “Tactical Terror” (Nov. 24, 2011). Leo W. Banks earned third for “Arizona Burning” (June 30, 2011).

• The Weekly also swept the Best Column: Analysis or Commentary category. Tom Danehy nabbed top honors for “Pima Community College’s Admissions Changes Deserve a Hearty Round of Applause” (Sept. 29, 2011). Renée Downing took both second and third place, for “The GOP’s War on Planned Parenthood and Contraception Has Given Obama a Huge Boost” (March 29, 2012) and “The Greed of the Health-Care System Rivals the Greed of the Banking System” (May 26, 2011), respectively.

• The staff took first place for Best Sustained Coverage or Series for the Jan. 5, 2012, issue, which covered the anniversary of the Tucson shootings on Jan. 8, 2011.

• Tom Danehy won first place for Best Sports Column, for “One Year Into the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s ‘Reorganization,’ We Have a Mess” (Dec. 22, 2011).” Irene Messina won third place in that category for “Around Jennifer Higgins, Women Weightlifters’ Stereotypes Fall Apart” (Nov. 17, 2011).

• Vanderpool won first place in the Best News Feature Story category, for “The Mayor of Fourth Avenue” (April 5, 2012).

• Jim Nintzel and his reality-journalism competition, Project White House, which encouraged everyday folks to run for president, won first place in the Enterprise Reporting category.

• Josh Morgan won first place for Best Sports Photograph for a picture he took of UA gymnast Katie Matusik (“The Birth of the Pac-12,” Aug. 4, 2011). He also took home second place for Best Feature Photo Layout for his photo essay “Real Refuge” (June 2, 2011).

• Speaking of “The Birth of the Pac-12”: Danehy won third place for that piece in the Best Sports Story category.

Weekly scribes took home two awards in the Best News Story category: Mari Herreras won second place for “Questionable Hires” (April 19, 2012), while Vanderpool earned third place for “The Smoking Gun” (Sept. 15, 2011).

Weekly writers also earned two awards in the Best Column: Feature or Criticism category: Ryn Gargulinski nabbed second for “In Southern Arizona and Beyond, Pigs Get No Respect” (June 16, 2011) while Randy Serraglio earned third place for “A Tucson Artist Uses Experiences From His Bi-National, Bi-Cultural Life in His ‘Narco Nation’ Works” (Oct. 27, 2011).

• Photographer Zachary Vito won two awards: second place in the Best Feature Photograph category for his picture of Jeffrey Scott Brown (“Surviving and Thriving,” March 1, 2012); and third place in the Best News Photograph category for his picture of Gabrielle Giffords with “Goodbye for Now” (Jan. 26, 2012).

• Finally, Bilal Muhammad won second place in the Best Multimedia Storytelling category for “Inside Al’s Barber Shop” (The Range, June 29, 2011).

Here are the Weekly’s other advertising awards:

• The staff earned first place for Best Classified Section.

• First place in the Best Black-and-White Ad category, for Asian Spa and Massage, went to Alan Schultz.

• Greg Willhite and Stephen Meyers won first place in the Best Color Ad category for Sundance Kid.

• Willhite and Jim Keyes won top honors in the Best Online Ad—Animated category for Tui-Na.

• Jill A’Hearn won second place in the Best Newspaper Promotion Ad series category for “We Have an App for that.”

• Schultz earned third place in the Most Effective Use of Small Space category for Eddie’s Cocktails.

Arizona’s small newspapers ruled the day (or at least the contest), nearly sweeping the biggest contestwide awards: The Yuma Sun was named the Daily Newspaper of the Year, while the Arizona Capitol Times followed in the Weekly’s footsteps as the Non-Daily Newspaper of the Year.

Bill Hess of the Sierra Vista Herald (a paper which, like the Weekly, is owned by Wick Communications) was named the Daily Journalist of the Year. Non-Daily Journalist of the Year honors went to Cindy Yurth of the Navajo Times.

The Non-Daily Photo Journalist of the Year is Dave Brown, of fellow Wick papers the Arizona Range News/San Pedro Valley News-Sun. Oddly, the award was not given in the daily category.

Alexis Bechman of the Payson Roundup won Story of the Year honors in the non-daily category. Rob O’Dell nabbed the sole big award that went to a large daily newspaper: The current Arizona Republic reporter won the daily Story of the Year award for work he did at the Arizona Daily Star.

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Political Roundtable: LD9 House Race Forum

Posted By on Sat, Sep 29, 2012 at 11:01 AM

On Arizona Public Media's Political Roundtable this week: Republican Ethan Orr and Democrats Mohur Sarah Sidhwa and Victoria Steele talk about various state issues in the race for two seats in Arizona House of Representatives from Legislative District 9, which includes north-central Tucson, the Catalina Foothills and the Casas Adobes area. Key areas of disagreement are extending the one-cent sales tax for education and infrastructure and abortion rights.

Arizona Between Nosotros Returns Tonight (Saturday) at MOCA

Posted By on Sat, Sep 29, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Last year, Arizona Between Nosotros organized a series of performing-arts events, and took their work over the border to Nogales, Sonora. This year, they return with Indebted/Endeudado, tonight (Saturday, Sept. 29), from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), 265 S. Church Ave.

The night's theme is debt: Financial debt, emotional debt, political debt, and social debt. From organizers:

Indebted/Enduedado is a multi-disciplinary, multi-lingual event featuring performance art, devised theatre, and video, exploring what it means to be in debt. The visually and emotionally striking evening of multidisciplinary performance is Saturday, September 29, 2012 from 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm in MOCA’s Great Hall.

Presenting artists include Paco Velez, Sarah K Smith, Logan Phillips, Denise Uyehara, Heather Gray, Adam Cooper-Terán, Yvonne Montoya, Cyndi LaFrese, and Jason Aragon. Curated by Sarah K Smith and Paco Velez.

Tickets available at the door the evening of the performance. $5 for MOCA members, $8 for non-members.

A panel discussion about the performance is on Wednesday, October 3, 2012 from 6:30 — 7:30 pm at MOCA.

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Tonight (Friday Night): Arizona Libre With Jeff Biggers and More

Posted By on Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 5:55 PM


If you read this week's Weekly, hopefully you read the excerpt from Jeff Biggers' new book, State Out of the Union: Arizona and the Final Showdown Over the American Dream, and tonight at the Rialto, you'll get a chance to hear Biggers read and perform. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m.; admission is just $5.

Need a few more reasons to go? Admission goes to the Raza Defense Fund, but you'll also get to see Salvador Duran, The Jons, Carlos Arzate and Mariachi Nueva Melodia.

From show organizers:

State Out of the Union: Arizona and the Final Showdown Over the American Dream is award-winning journalist and historian Jeff Biggers’ riveting account from the Arizona frontlines on how the state's historical conflicts over immigration, Ethnic Studies and state’s rights have become a national bellwether.

But Arizona is not only home to some of the most virulent anti-immigration legislation in the country—it is also the bir
thplace of a new movement of young Latino activists and allies who have challenged the self-proclaimed architect of SB 1070 in a historic recall election, and are also mobilizing to defend Mexican American Studies, civil rights and the state’s education system from censorship.

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Sky Bar/Dead Prez Show Dust-Up

Posted By on Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Tomorrow night's performance of Dead Prez at Sky Bar has drawn criticism that the bar and group probably never expected.

The controversy goes back the summer of 2010, when No More Deaths started We Mean Business, getting almost 100 local businesses to post the red-on-white anti-SB 1070 sign that says "We Reject Racism." Brooklyn Pizza and Sky Bar owner Tony Vaccaro took down his signs at his Fourth Avenue spots and claimed businesses shouldn't get involved in politics.

Since that decision, immigration-rights activists have boycotted Sky Bar and Brooklyn Pizza. Boycotts aren't easy to maintain, but this is a group that has stuck to its beliefs. But when a highly political rap group like Dead Prez shows up, it can make these battles difficult.

Still, a call went out asking the group to reconsider playing at the venue and what it means to immigrant-rights supporters.

The Mexican American and Raza Studies Facebook page, among others, have had active conversations about the controversy. This response from Dead Prez was shared on the page:

"Thank you for the information. dead prez already made a commitment to play this show prior to knowledge of this venue."

Conversations of protests in front of the bar have been tempered, and word went out that Dead Prez is speaking with community reps and figuring out way to offer support.

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The New Buffalo Wild Wings Location Is Open

Posted By on Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 4:13 PM

Just in time for your weekend hot-wing satisfaction, the new location of Buffalo Wild Wings at 4329 N. Oracle Road is open. Not much else to say on this one. Dig in Tucson. There's more on the chain restaurant here.

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Dance Against Cancer Tomorrow

Posted By on Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Linda Tarason is a fighter. She was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2005 and had 60 percent of her colon removed. In six months, she had 12 chemo treatments. Tarason was cancer-free for seven years until being diagnosed with lung cancer. She endured more surgery and a softball-size section of her left lung was removed.

Instead of lamenting her health difficulties, Tarason decided to get involved. She is one of two Arizona leaders of the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Each year, she organizes a fundraising event.

In 2010, she arranged a group dance video at Tanque Verde Guest Ranch. Last year, she conducted a flash mob at Park Place Mall. This year, it's an all-ages dance jam with a DJ and dance lessons.

Join Tarason to celebrate LiveStrong Day from 7 to 11 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 29 at Sonoran Dance Academy, 5536 E. Grant Road. $10, $5 for students to benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Munchies and desserts will be provided.

An RSVP is appreciated. Call 440-7206, email or visit for information.

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Staff Pick

World Flute Concert

World flute virtuosos Gary Stroutsos and Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos come together for an evening of meditative soundscapes… More

@ San Pedro Chapel Fri., Jan. 31, 7-9 p.m. 5230 E. Fort Lowell Road.

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