Friday, April 29, 2016

Zona Politics: UA College Dean Joaquin Ruiz Talks Biosphere Anniversary, Amy Silverman Talks About Her New Book & More!

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 4:57 PM

May 1st, 2016 from Zona Politics with Jim Nintzel on Vimeo.

On this week's episode of Zona Politics with Jim Nintzel: UA College of Science Dean Joaquin Ruiz stops by to talk what's going on at the Biosphere—including the One Young World conference, the Landscape Evolution Observatory and some plans for farming—as the giant terrarium's 25th anniversary approaches. He also fills us in on some of the latest news with the Lunar and Planetary Lab's space program. Then Phoenix New Times managing editor Amy Silverman joins us to discuss her new book, My Heart Can't Even Believe It, about how having a daughter with Down syndrome changed her family's life. And then Valerie Trouet of the UA Tree Ring Lab talks about some of her work, including a new study that used tree rings and shipwrecks to recreate a Caribbean hurricane record that dates back centuries.

You can catch the show at 8 a.m. Sunday mornings on the CW Tucson, Channel 8 on Cox and Comcast and Channel 58 on DirecTV, Dish and broadcast. You can also hear it Sunday afternoons at 5 p.m. on KXCI Community Radio, 91.3 FM. Or you can watch it online here.

Here's a rush transcript of the show:

(Nintzel) Hello, everyone. I'm Tucson Weekly senior writer Jim Nintzel, your host for Zona Politics. Today We're going to detour away from politics to talk about science and books. We begin with our friend, Joaquin Ruiz, the dean of the U of A College of Science. Dean Ruiz, welcome to Zona Politics.

(Ruiz) Always a pleasure to be here.

(Nintzel) So the Biosphere is celebrating its 25th Anniversary. You have a big event coming up there this month One Young World Environmental Summit. What's that all about?

(Ruiz) Well, this organization called One Young World specializes in having meetings around the world, in which 18-to-30-year-old leaders meet and discuss whatever the topic may be. The last one was in Thailand. And now they've decided that they want to focus on the environment, specifically a summit on the environment. They're using the Biosphere as the venue, so it's beautiful. We expect to have at least 300 people, maybe even more. Again, leaders. They're either from Apple or Caterpillar or other companies and people from other countries and it will be a day and a half of meetings, conferences. We have inspirational people that are going to come and talk, and to me, the most important thing about the whole meeting is, one, allowing folks from around the world to come and see the Biosphere, and coming to see Tucson and what the UA has to offer with respect to the environment.

(Nintzel) And you have had the Biosphere, now, in the control of the College of Science for almost ten years, and, how's it going out there?

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Hotel Congress' Agave Celebration Expands to a Full Week of Festivities, Here's What You Can Expect

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 4:47 PM

Cocktails, spirit samples and more at Agave Fest. - COURTESY OF HOTEL CONGRESS
  • Courtesy of Hotel Congress
  • Cocktails, spirit samples and more at Agave Fest.

Eight years ago, Aaron Defeo, who was then running Hotel Congress' bar program, sought to create an event unlike any Tucson had seen before. He wanted to give pros and guests alike the opportunity to sip spirits, rub elbows and learn more about the liquor world through a place-centric tasting event.

"There just weren't any opportunities for people to taste a wide variety of curated spirits," Defeo says. 

What's more is many of the tasting events that did exist were sponsored by one specific brand, which meant little diversity in the selection.

Flash forward eight years and Defeo's original single-day tasting event at Hotel Congress has exploded into a full week of seminars, tastings, concerts and more and become the Agave Heritage Week. Congress' general manager Todd Hanley wanted to expand the event this year, including off-site venues and more to grow the festival.

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Watch Local Filmmakers Battle it Out for the Golden Gong (and $1000) at The Loft

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 1:00 PM

It's big, it's loud and it's golden. And 14 local filmmakers want it. 

"It" is the esteemed "Golden Gong" trophy—the prize one filmmaker will win, along with $1,000, for their submission to The Loft Cinema's First Friday Shorts: The Golden Gong Year-End Showdown short-film contest on Friday, May 6. 
The showdown currently plans to feature shorts from locals Gilbert Rataezyk, David Bornstein, Adela Antoinette, Brooke Hartnett, Matthew Vanek, Jacob Webb, Mac Benning, MJ Watz, Brian McAdams, Kevin Kittle, Steve Roggenbuck, Malcolm Critcher, Cody Hunt and Dom Villarrubia, but The Loft will accept up to seven new film entries at the show itself. If you're interested, submit your short quickly—the spots will fill fast. 

The Loft's twelfth annual installment of First Friday Shorts will also begin the same evening, right after host Max Cannon presents the Golden Gong to its rightful owner. The First Friday Shorts winner will win a "sweet" $200, so be sure to submit your short to the contest. 

Admission is $5 for Loft members and $6 for everyone else. Get your tickets here. For more information on The Golden Gong Year-End Showdown and First Friday Shorts in general, check out The Loft's website

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Prop 123 is a "First Step"? Let's Pretend "First Step" Means What Ducey Wants Us to Think It Means

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 12:00 PM

  • Courtesy of PhotoSpin
Yesterday I wrote about the gap between what Ducey wants us to think he means when he calls Prop 123 a "first step" and what he really means. He wants to leave the impression that he believes Prop 123 is a first financial step, a down payment on a significant increase in school funding. What he actually means is, he wants to keep, or lower, the budget's current per-student funding rates while shifting as much of that money as possible toward high rent school districts and charter schools.

I have a suggestion. Let's take Ducey at his word, or at least what he wants us to believe is his word. Let's pretend he's really advocating for increasing the amount we spend on education. And then let's be APPALLED! and OUTRAGED! when he goes back on his word. Hell, let's hold every one of the First Steppers to the same standard. If you say Prop 123 is a first step, that means you're an advocate for budgeting more money for public schools as soon as possible.

Looking at the budget deals being cut by Ducey and the Republican legislative leadership, we need be APPALLED! and OUTRAGED! right now.

Thursday, Ducey & Co. were talking about cutting $21 million from school funding. That's absolutely appalling. Lowering the amount our state budget allots for our children's education when we're already one of the lowest spenders in the nation? Outrageous! Especially when you promised to increase funding by telling us Prop 123 is just a first step. This morning it looks like there's a deal afoot to restore that funding. Again, unbelievable! Outrageous! That's the best you can do, put back the money today you stole from our kids yesterday? I thought you said Prop 123 was only a first step in boosting funding for public education. Where's the rest of the money you promised?

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INTERVIEW: Explosions in the Sky Trek Into The Wilderness

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 11:00 AM

  • Photo by Nick Simonite
As an album title, The Wilderness is an apt metaphor for the seventh album from Explosions in the Sky.

The heralded Austin, Texas instrumental post-rock quartet—Chris Hrasky (drums), Michael James (guitar, bass), Munaf Rayani (guitar) and Mark T. Smith (guitar)—had recorded three soundtrack projects since the last studio record and deliberately set out to explore uncharted territory.

“We went into this knowing we wanted to push as much as we can to not do the default settings that maybe we’d developed for a few years,” Hrasky says. “We definitely wanted to feel like it was exploring different things and trying different things and make all that work in terms of songs.”

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Casa Video Top 10

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 10:00 AM

We're all that stylistically challenged child from time to time. - BIGSTOCK
  • BigStock
  • We're all that stylistically challenged child from time to time.

Stepping out of my swamp-cooled, cavelike house into the hot sunlight is a shock every morning. Join me in pretending the truly sweaty days of summer are still ages away with a weekend movie marathon.

Here are Casa Video's top 10 most rented DVDs from last week:

1. The Revenant

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This Year's Spring Bazaar at Mercado San Agustin Features Events for Local Food Lovers

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Barrio Bread will be featured at the Spring Bazaar. - HEATHER HOCH
  • Heather Hoch
  • Barrio Bread will be featured at the Spring Bazaar.
The Mercado San Agustin (100 S. Ave. del Convento) Spring Bazaar has become kind of a tradition. With 40 vendors selling handmade and handpicked wares, it’s a great place to buy local gifts and support small artisans.

This year, though, MSA’s spring market fest has a little something special for the food crowd too. The Seed + Feed culinary showcase will add an extra layer to the all-local event with food-centric panels and demos. On Saturday, April 30, Gary Nabhan of Native Seeds/SEARCH and the newly-founded UA Center for Regional Food Studies will present on the city’s new UNESCO City of Gastronomy designation beginning at 1 p.m. The following day, beginning at 11 a.m., Don Guerra of Barrio Bread will lead a “Seed to Bread” workshop.

The full Spring Bazaar takes place Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. For more information on this and other Mercado San Agustin events, visit the Mercado's website

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

There's One Really Good Way to Celebrate National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day

Posted By on Thu, Apr 28, 2016 at 12:00 PM

This is what your bed should look like when you get home from work. - BIGSTOCK
  • BigStock
  • This is what your bed should look like when you get home from work.

There's a "holiday" or two for (what seems like) every day of the year. 

According to (the authority on these matters, I'm sure) April 30 has a lot to celebrate: It's National Bugs Bunny Day, National Raisin Day and National Oatmeal Cookie Day.

I feel like I know how to celebrate those (make some oatmeal raisin cookies and eat them while watching Looney Tunes, obviously), but another April 30 holiday makes how to participate clear in its name.

National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day is Saturday.

To help you celebrate, Pima Animal Care Center (4000 N. Silverbell Road) is offering free pet adoptions this weekend (Friday April 29 through Sunday May 1) on all pets over six months of age.

The fees typically cover the pet’s spay or neuter surgery, vaccinations, microchiping and a vet visit—all of which will still be included during this adoption weekend. A standard $16 licensing fee will apply to all adult dogs.

Enjoy your weekend of meeting your new best friend.

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Staff Pick

Tour the UA Tree-Ring Research Lab

Docents guide tours of the center of some of the world's leading research about dendrochronology as it… More

@ The UA Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research Second Tuesday of every month, Third Wednesday of every month and Fourth Thursday of every month The Bannister Building, 1215 E. Lowell St.

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