Friday, July 29, 2016

Public Brewhouse Celebrates a Year of Great Beer

Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2016 at 1:31 PM

Mike Gura measures grain for a new batch of beer while patrons share a drink in the background. - NICHOLAS A. JOHNSON
  • Nicholas A. Johnson
  • Mike Gura measures grain for a new batch of beer while patrons share a drink in the background.

Local nanobrewery Public Brewhouse is celebrating its one year anniversary.

It took Mike Gura and Cody Van Haren, the two head brewers and owners at Public, three years to open up their brewery. The two met while working as EMTs on an ambulance together and have been brewing together for five years now. The idea to open a brewery originated in 2012, and was a full-fledged goal a year later. In November 2013 Gura started a Kickstarter, which raised $36,000 for the brewery.

After two years of dealing with zoning codes, licensing and certification the nanobrewery was able to open up in August 2015.

Gura began brewing 13 years ago in Utah, mainly out of necessity.

“The alcohol laws in Utah were such that you couldn’t buy good beer,” Gura said. You had to buy beer from the state liquor store, you had to buy singles, and it was always warm. The selection wasn’t very good and the beer was always gross, because it got skunk from being hot.”

Instead of committing a long drive to Colorado for good beer Gura decided to start brewing his own. The passion he developed for the process is evident to those around them.

“When a new shipment of hops comes in they're like kids in a candy store,” Christa Weidenschilling, a bartender at Public said. “Mike and Cody will talk about beer for hours and hours. They’ll point out the differences in grain and hops. You really learn a lot working here.”

That sense of community isn't an accident.

“Our name, Public, comes from the idea that a pub is a public house. We really wanted to create an environment people feel comfortable coming into," Gura said. "I think we provide a service that people appreciate. We have a lot of regulars from the neighborhood, which is exactly what we wanted. Local people coming in and having conversations, and sharing stories."

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Casa Video Top 10

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

I am obsessed with how perfectly this frog(?) fits in his chair. - BIGSTOCK
  • BigStock
  • I am obsessed with how perfectly this frog(?) fits in his chair.

Well, I know you've got a busy weekend ahead of you. If you find some time to rent a movie, these are probably the ones you're going to want. 

  1. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

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Win Tickets to see the Diamondbacks Play the Nationals

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


We've got four tickets to Tuesday evening's DBacks vs. Nationals baseball game at Chase Field (401 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix). The game starts at 6:40 p.m.

Enter below and we'll get in touch with the winner midday Monday. Keep in mind that the tickets will need to be picked up from our office on the Northwest side of town sometime Monday or Tuesday before 5 p.m.

But before you enter
: Triple check that you're going to be able to go if you win. About half the time the tickets from these giveaways aren't picked up. That's wasteful and inconsiderate. Please only enter if you're really, really sure you can make it to the game—or at least call me back if you win and can't use the tickets, so I can pass them off to someone else. Deal?

Fill out my online form.

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

TUSD Enrollment, 2000 to 2016, Part 2

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 2:35 PM

In my last post, I put up a chart, which I also included here, showing the decline in enrollment numbers at TUSD from 2000 to the present. The short takeaway from the chart is, the district's enrollment declined slowly, averaging 350 students a year, from 2000 through 2007. Then the decline almost quadrupled, averaging 1,600 students a year, through 2012. Since then, the decline has slowed. The 2015-16 school year had the smallest decline, 417 students, in eight years.

I decided to pore over data for the 16 years in greater detail, looking at enrollment numbers from the beginning and the end of the school year and grade by grade, to see if I could find any trends worth noting. I did, and in the rest of the post, I'll describe some of what I found. I'm going to restrain myself from drawing too many conclusions from the data. I make a few observations at the end, but really, there are far too many variables at work here for me to tease out clear causes and effects. [Note: I'm going to try and make things as clear as possible, but I'm comparing lots of numbers, which always makes for slow reading, and this isn't the kind of writing I normally do. I'll do the best I can.]
I chose to use the figures from the 175th day for the end-of-the-year numbers because that's either the end of the school year or close to it, depending on the year, and the numbers for that day have fewer random ups and downs than other days. I also looked at student numbers on the 20th day, which is when things settle down after the first month's enrollment changes, so it's a reasonable place for a beginning-of-the-year count.

Looking at the enrollment on the 20th and the 175th day each year, I found, not surprisingly, that every year, TUSD had fewer students at the end of the year than at the beginning, which I suspect is true in other districts. For the 16 years from 2000 to the present, TUSD's average decrease from the beginning to the end of the year was about 1200 students.Only three years had decreases of less than 950 students: 2009-10 (915) and both of the last two school years, 2014-15 (920) and 2015-16 (582). That means that the during the last two years, holding onto students for the entire school year had a significant role in slowing the overall decrease of students. 

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Best of Tucson Final Warning

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

  • conejoazul/Flickr

It's time! Stop your Netflix binge, put down your watermelon eegee and put your thinkin' cap on because you need to fill out your Best of Tucson ballot by the end of the day Sunday—or what is even the point of being such a Tucson expert? 

If you're not familiar: Best of Tucson is our annual guide to the city. It helps new Tucson transplants navigate the Old Pueblo, it gives longtime residents some insight into what their fellow Tucsonans love about our city, it shows our local chefs/artists/business owners that we appreciate what they do for us culturally. We run the voting in two rounds: First, you can nominate anyone for any category. We look at the votes, pick the people/places that got the most votes in the first round, and open up a second round of voting with only the finalists. That's where we're at now.

Time is running out, and this is not a short survey—well, you don't have to fill out the whole thing, but it's still a lot to go through. So get going

Having trouble logging in? Email me: 

Cinema Clips: Lights Out

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Three years ago, director David F. Sandberg made a great short about a woman home alone at night, noticing a dark figure when she switched the light off. The payoff was both hilarious and scary as shit. So, of course, producer James Wan got a hold of Sandberg and now there’s a full length feature film based on that light-switch premise.

Writer Eric Heisserer takes the idea, fleshes it out, and comes up with a pretty good story to go with Sandberg’s strong horror directing abilities. Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) is an angry woman with mommy and commitment issues. Her mom, Sophie (Maria Bello), recently lost her husband and has fallen into a depression where she is talking to herself. Her son, and Sophie’s brother, Martin (Gabriel Bateman) is seeing a strange dark figure when the lights go out. It all leads up to a finale where flashlights are very valuable and potential victims behave like idiots.

Sandberg repeats the same jolt scare over and over again, and makes it all work nicely. The film is genuinely scary in the moments it’s trying to be. The background story is a little on the flaccid side, but Palmer and Bello are good in their roles, and Bateman plays a scared kid with major aplomb. It’s a serviceable horror film that will give genre fans a reasonably good time.

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The Weekly List: 44 Great Things To Do in Tucson in the Next Seven Days

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Welcome to the first edition of The Weekly List, our brand-new curated guide to all the fun you should be having in Southern Arizona. Look for it every Thursday on The Range and then plan your week accordingly!

Food & Booze

Green Things Farmer's and Artisan Market. Stock up on homemade jams, fresh-baked bread, handcrafted jewelry and everything else you find at a Farmer's Market, along with all the cactus, trees and plants you'll find at Green Things. 8 a.m. to noon. Thursday, July 28 at Green Things Nursery Free Farmers Market, 3235 E. Allen Road.

Baja Brews Tasting Event: Cactus Fruits. Edible Baja teams up with a dozen local breweries to host the first Baja Brews Tasting co-sponsored by Arizona Craft Brewers Guild and Visit Tucson. You'll be able to talk to the brewers, sample beers made just for the event and your admission goes right towards great local non-profits Desert Harvesters, Native Seeds/SEARCH, Iskashitaa Refugee Network and Trees for Tucson. 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 28. Borderlands Brewing Company, 119 E. Toole Ave. $15

Harvestfest Sonoita Vineyards Sonoran Tasting Tours. Want to explore Sonoita wine country without risking a DUI? Sonoran Tasting Tours is for you. Your ticket includes roundtrip transportation along with tastings, lunch, and a souvenir glass. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 30. $89 all inclusive, with discounts for parties of four or more. 

Demonstration Class and Lunch with Chef Wendy Gauthier.
The Carriage House brings Wendy Gauthier of Chef Chic to tell you all about enhancing your meals with oils and balsamic from local purveyor Alfonso Gourmet Olive Oils. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 30. The Carriage House, 125 S. Arizona Ave. $60 per person.

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Review: Hillary’s America: the Secret History of the Democratic Party

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 8:59 AM

Author and film maker Dinesh D’Souza’s latest film opened nationwide last Thursday. It is a history lesson in two parts.

It starts with a short and somewhat creepy sequence of swirling cartoon representations of different Democrat politicians to the tune of “Happy Days are Here Again”. The movie then begins with a re-enactment of the sentencing phase of D’Souza’s trial for violation of campaign finance laws. This was the beginning of part one.

Yes, it’s true, Dinesh D’Souza had a friend who was running for office to whom he donated $20k. So far, so good, but he then had a third party donate another $20k which was reimbursed by D’Souza. He was charged with a felony. His lawyer said that this sort of case is common and that nobody suffers a felony and that he would get it reduced for him. After some time, his lawyer told him that the court was not budging, he could not get the charge reduced, and that somebody must really want to get him. This took place after the D’Souza movie 2016: Obama’s America which was critical of the president. He pleaded guilty to the felony and was sentenced to five years probation, eight months in a "community confinement center," eight hours a week of community service during the probation, and a thirty thousand dollar fine. It was sort of a “Lite” version of G.Gordon Liddy’s sentence of 20 years in prison (commuted to eight years by President Carter) for a first offense breaking and entering where nothing was stolen—his punishment for not co-operating with Democrats after the Watergate fiasco.

After the courtroom scene, there was a humorous sequence showing his induction to the "community confinement center" and getting used to the company of hardened criminals. He began to learn about the criminal subculture which had been totally foreign to him. Through speaking with his fellow inmates, he distilled the four major aspects of the criminal enterprise: 1, Develop a plan; 2, Recruit; 3, Make the pitch; 4, If caught, always deny, never give up the con. He uses his newfound understanding of criminality as a framework for explaining the success and ultimate goal of the Democrat Party.

D’Souza dived back in history to the presidency of Andrew Jackson, the Democrat president who drove Native Americans off their land onto reservations, then sold the land cheaply to buy votes. The Republicans fought against the plan, but the Democrats got it passed. He proceeds through history to the Civil War, Reconstruction, the Ku Klux Klan, lynching, big city political machines, Margaret Sanger, and finally debunking the claim that Republicans under Nixon decided to appeal to Southern racists and that is why black people turned to the Democrats after the racists in the party became Republicans. It was given the term, “The Southern Strategy.”

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Staff Pick

All-Breed Horse Show

The Southern Arizona Arabian Horse Association hosts an all-breed circuit show beginning at 9 a.m., the fourth… More

@ Pima County Fairgrounds Fourth Saturday of every month 11500 S. Houghton Road.

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