Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Thrillist Wants Eegee's to Expand Nationwide—Sorry, Rest of the Country, It's Ours

Posted By on Tue, Jun 30, 2015 at 4:30 PM

click image You love it. I love it. The whole contry loves it. - EEGEE'S / FACEBOOK
  • Eegee's / Facebook
  • You love it. I love it. The whole contry loves it.
After a couple weeks of national love for Tucson's dining scene courtesy of New York Times, NY Magazine and even Playboy, it seems that even our fast food is drawing the admiring gaze of national media outlets. On Monday, June 29, lifestyle listicle website Thrillist released a round-up of single-city restaurant chains that they wish would expand their delicious reach and one Tucson institution made the cut. 

I'll admit, before I clicked, I had a strong feeling the anomalously-in-just-Tucson Eegee's would pop up on the top 12 list, and there it was. That's because it seems most people, including the chichi "foodies" and even the governor (who seems to hate most good things like education and human rights), dig the occasional visit to Eegee's.

Thrillist had this to say of our favorite place to grab a flavored icy treat with a side of crinkle fries:

A sandwich chain with the same density in the Tucson metro area as Subway has in... well, the rest of the country, eegee’s is a sandwich & slushie chain with an extensive menu of subs and frozen fruit drinks (or “eegees”) to wash them down with, even though the consistency of the slushies makes them more like a dessert than a drink. It's also famed for its ranch-topped fries, which are crowned with imitation bacon bits and more than inspire imitation.
However, Tucson has other chains worthy of expansion. After all, even Phoenix decided it was time to adopt El Guero Canelo and we can't blame them. What other Tucson chains do you think should've made the list?

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Why The Confederate Flag Represents Hate Groups

Posted By on Tue, Jun 30, 2015 at 3:30 PM


Former KGUN-TV News Director Forrest Carr, who was raised down South, reflects on the Confederate Flag:
The sad truth about the confederate battle flag is that whatever supporters would say about why it still needs to fly and why it might be worthy of public admiration, hate groups have stolen it from us. Add this to the long, long list of items for which such groups cannot be forgiven. They’ve hijacked it and the theft is an accomplished fact. When that flag goes on display, a message of racism goes with it—whether that is the intended effect or not. For the recipient, the impact can be as in-your-face aggressive as the sight of a swastika—which hate groups often display alongside it.

The swastika got its poor reputation the same way. It spent 3,000 years being revered by various religions and cultures as a symbol meaning “auspiciousness” among other things. Then the Nazis appropriated it. Display it today and you’ll get only one reaction.

Those who would continue to support the public display of the confederate flag really have two questions to ask themselves. One: Does it make any sense to deny that hate groups have stolen the symbol and made it their own? Or should flag supporters continue the battle to wrest the flag away from hate groups—and in doing so, risk offending a good portion of America?

Looking at race relations as they now stand in this country, to me it’s hard to argue that we should be doing less to salve old wounds and resolve old and current injustices. 

Catch Best Dog Award at Club Congress Before They Head Out on Tour

Posted By on Tue, Jun 30, 2015 at 2:30 PM

Get your BDA fix at Congress on Wednesday. - BEST DOG AWARD / FACEBOOK
  • Best Dog Award / Facebook
  • Get your BDA fix at Congress on Wednesday.

Local chilled out psych rockers Best Dog Award are headed up the west coast on tour for the next few weeks in support of their new release Faith-Based Space Place. If you haven't heard it yet, the five-song EP showcases the bands penchant for melding wave-like reverb-laced guitar with sunny electro-organ resulting in a sometimes relaxingly mellow, sometimes wiggle-inducing and upbeat, but always super dreamy mix of BDA's best work to date. Made at downtown's St. Cecilia Studios, the recording is clean and straightforward, without being cloyingly produced.

So, before they go out to California to spread Faith-Based Space Place along the coast, you'll want to catch Best Dog Award at Club Congress (311 E. Congress St.) on Wednesday, July 1. Starting at 8 p.m., freak funk trio Shooda Shook It and the fun and fuzzy Phoenix act Strange Lot will open up. Tickets will be sold at the door the day of for $5 and it's an all ages event.

Until then, make sure to check out their music video for "Successful," which was released earlier this month. The trippy space throwback video features some familiar venues, most notably D&D Pinball off Fourth Avenue, and was directed by Tucson ex-pat Caleb Jackson. 

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Graze Offers a Burger Meal Deal Through the End of August

Posted By on Tue, Jun 30, 2015 at 1:00 PM

You might just want to eat this all summer. - GRAZE / FACEBOOK
  • Graze / Facebook
  • You might just want to eat this all summer.

Graze Premium Burgers, which is arguably Tucson's top spot to get a burger, is offering folks in the Old Pueblo a deal for sticking around all summer. Like the monsoon rain, their meal deal will offer you (and your wallet) a little relief as the season wears on.

From now until August 31, you can get a regular burger with fries and a drink for $7.50—a meal that'd normally cost $2 more. Should you so choose, you can make it a chicken or veggie burger for a buck more or a double for $2. As with all Graze burgers, which are made from 100 percent Niman Ranch beef, you can jazz up your burger with ketchup, mustard, mayo, pickles, relish, grilled onion, grilled jalapeño and grilled mushrooms in addition to the lettuce, tomato, Graze sauce and red onion that come on the burgers typically. Bacon, cheese and a fried egg are also an option for an up-charge. 

On the side, crisp Kennebec potato fries, fried up Belgian style, can be dipped in a range of sauces like sweet red chili, curry ketchup and Sriracha mayo. To drink, Graze offers Maine Root sodas, made with real cane sugar, and iced tea.

Graze Premium Burgers, located at 2721 E. Speedway Blvd., is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. 

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In Case You Missed It: ICE Says It'll Start Housing Transgender Immigrants in Facility That Matches Gender Identity

Posted By on Tue, Jun 30, 2015 at 11:30 AM

  • Courtesy of glaad.org

Immigration and Customs Enforcement yesterday made public a new memorandum that says the agency will start housing transgender immigrants in the detention facilities that match their gender identity.

We very often see transgender women in male detention centers, even though taking notice of a person's gender identity is something ICE should have already been doing. According to several reports, even though one in 500 detainees is transgender, one in five has been sexually assaulted. (We have a case like that close to home.)

In the memo, dated June 19, ICE explains how to determine a detainee's gender identity, and based on that send them to the detention facility of the gender they identify with. ICE employees will be given coaching on what questions to ask and how to appropriately fill out documents—For instance, knowing the difference between sex assigned at birth and gender identity. There will also be a data base where a person's gender identity will be updated for legal records. 

DHS says the memo follows a report from a group that took an in-depth look at these issues over the course of six months with experts of the subject. The agency also sought input from transgender individuals, "and visited various non-federal facilities across the country to observe best practices."

Advocacy groups such as the Transgender Law Center and Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, who are part of the #Not1More campaign, argue the changes aren't enough and LGBT immigrants should be released from detention, period. "A guidance document cannot be expected to change the fact that DHS and ICE have consistently failed at maintaining a minimum of safety and dignity for transgender immigrants," the groups say in a statement. 

Continue reading »

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NPR Loves Sergio Mendoza's New Record With Luz Elena Mendoza

Posted By on Tue, Jun 30, 2015 at 9:59 AM

  • Photo by Jeff Elbel

Tucson musician Sergio Mendoza of Calexico and Orkesta Mendoza (among others) recently teamed up with Luz Elena Mendoza of Portland's Y La Bamba to record Los Hijos de la Montaña right here in downtown Tucson's Wavelab Studios. NPR's Felix Contreras puts it on NPR's list of the best 25 albums of 2015 (so far). Contreras notes:

I've been calling it "The Meeting of the Mendozas," this first-ever collaboration between songwriter Sergio Mendoza and vocalist Luz Elena Mendoza. The two (unrelated) musicians represent two very unique takes on Mexican influences in their music: Luz Elena is the husky-voiced lead singer of Y la Bamba, a group from the Pacific Northwest that I once described as a group of "rugged choir boys"; Sergio has divided his time between Calexico and his own Orkesta Mendoza, a 1950s-inspired mambo rock band. Together these Mendozas sound nothing like their separate bands: Los Hijos de la Montaña is a captivating sonic soundscape of a mythical Southwest, a land where the border doesn't exist and the musical flow is bilingual and bi-cultural. It hasn't caused much of a stir in the crowded world of online music, but this album is worth a second and even third listen six months into this year. There is a well-crafted and expertly-performed world in this music that is very real to many of us who grew up in the Southwest. This collaboration nails the sound in our heads perfectly. —Felix Contreras

Monday, June 29, 2015

Send the Apache Stronghold Off to D.C. to Repeal the Oak Flat Land Exchange

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 4:40 PM

  • Courtesy of Apache Stronghold

Support the preservation of the sacred Apache lands at Oak Flat and head to the Apache Stronghold Caravan to D.C. send-off rally on Tuesday, June 30. Wendsler Nosie, Sr., councilman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, and members of Apache Stronghold will be headed to the nation's capital to demand the repeal of a congressional measure that recently passed, giving those sacred sites to a foreign mining company, which in turn spells their eminent destruction. 

According to the Apache Stonghold website, the land deal, which had failed to win congressional approval several times, was only pushed through Congress by piggybacking it on another congressional measure:

The Southeast Arizona land exchange was one of the bills that was attached to the National Defense Authorization Act and passed by the U.S. House and the Senate. It is a bill pushed by Arizona Representatives Gosar & Kirkpatrick and Arizona Senators McCain and Flake (and prior to Flake, Kyle) which for over the past 10 years has not been able to get enough votes for passage in either the House or the Senate. The Arizona Congressmen could not get the bill to pass using the normal Congressional procedures. This is because the bill gives land at Apache Leap and Oak flat in southeastern Arizona to a foreign Mining Company, Resolution Copper without any environmental impact studies or without consultation with San Carlos Apache and Tribes that consider the area sacred. The last time the bill came up for vote in the House of Representatives it was shut down by New Mexico Representative Lujan who proposed an amendment to the bill that required that Native American concerns regarding Sacred Sites be addressed. 
Members of the Apache Stronghold are headed to D.C. July 20-21 to stand in opposition to the land deal but, first, they're asking community members to head to the Global Justice Center, 225 E. 26th St., on June 30 at 7 p.m. to show their support. The event is free, but donations for the trip are encouraged. Donations can also be made through the Apache Stronghold website, where you'll also find more information on the cause.

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Rumor Has it You're All a Bunch of Bookworms

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 1:30 PM

  • BigStock

As a lifelong Tucsonan, I feel like I've got the rhythm of the city down. Of course, even newer desert dwellers know our population shrinks every summer when everyone clears out to escape triple digit temperatures. Last summer, I had that notion challenged. See, I was working at a bookstore and every shift—mid day Monday, Thursday nights, Sunday morning, whenever—was Saturday-level busy. 

Now, I'm sure that surge in book shopping can be partially attributed to the beauty of air conditioning and an armchair on a hot summer day—but word on the street is the people of our fair city are particularly big readers. Perhaps that's why we have so many bookstore categories in Best of Tucson®.  

We've got:

Best Bookstore for New Books
Antigone Books  
Barnes & Noble  
Bookmans Entertainment Exchange  
Mostly Books  
The Book Stop  

Best Bookstore for Used Books
Bookmans Entertainment Exchange 
The Book Stop 
Mostly Books 

Best Independent Bookstore
Bookmans Entertainment Exchange
Antigone Books
The Book Stop
Mostly Books
Revolutionary Grounds 

So tell us (with your votes, that is) where to buy books—and escape the heat. 

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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