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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

XOXO: Where to Rock, Wednesday, Nov. 20

Posted By on Wed, Nov 20, 2019 at 1:00 AM

Imagine "Sweet Child O' Mine" mariachi style? If heavy metal had a pleasurably sordid affair with mariachi music lots of tequila would surely be involved. It's conceivable that this band of Los Angeles dissenters rose from unconsecrated graves. Like Barrio Viejo's own El Tiradito, where legend holds that Juan Oliveras, a young sheepherder, rests not-so-peacefully after being murdered by his father-in-law, who caught him in flagrante delicto with his enraptured mother-in-law. Metalachi are at 191 Toole. The heavy-as-hell surf music of Shark in the Water gets the party started...

Carefully balancing passion with composure, John Goraj established himself as a singer-songwriter with folk leanings before fronting a rising indie rock band. Soda Sun are at Club Congress...

Poets Sherman Bitsui and Sharon Vap read at Exo Bar...

All three members of this prestigious ensemble are winners of the Naumburg Foundation Prize. Arizona Friends of Chamber Music presents the Naumberg Trio. The evening's program features works by Beethoven. Carter, Schubert and Shostakovich. At Leo Rich Theater...

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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

XOXO: Where to Rock, Tuesday Nov. 19

Posted By on Tue, Nov 19, 2019 at 1:00 AM

Soul/blues/gospel/Latin. Roots Rising showcases up-and-coming talent: Matt Andersen, Gaby Moreno and Liz Vice performing both stripped down individual sets and a collaborative finale. At Club Congress...

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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Fifth Annual Sweat For Pets

Posted By on Tue, Nov 12, 2019 at 3:34 PM

Fans of exercise and man’s best friend are in luck, as the Humane Society of Southern Arizona is once again taking to the concrete jungle around Kino North Sports Complex in mid-November.

The society is hosting its fifth annual SWEAT for Pets: Walk, Run & Roll event, with a non-competitive 5K walk/run, raising money for homeless pets in Tucson.

The event, which is HSSA’s top-grossing fundraiser, can be tackled by teams or simply as an individual, with participants being encouraged to register early and raise money for animals.

Prizes will be given to anyone that raises $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000 and $2,500, according to the shelter’s release, with the race costing $10 for adults to enter and free for dogs and kids.

"Last year we hosted over 750 participants and 400 dogs! All the funds raised go a long way in helping us care for the neglected, sick, injured, and homeless pets in Southern Arizona. You can make a difference while having fun at this year’s SWEAT for Pets,” said Dianna Cannon, Chief Development Officer.

For more information or to register/start a fundraising team, go to, or email the shelter at

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Monday, November 11, 2019

Adoptable Pets: Chloe Needs a Home

Posted By on Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 1:11 PM

“Hi there! My name is Chloe and I am a sweet 5-year-old girl who loves to play. My dream home would have lots of toys for me to play with and a comfy bed for me to rest. In my previous home I did well with dogs, cats, and kids.” Chloe (859662) Bring your family, dogs included, to meet Chloe at HSSA Main Campus at 635 W. Roger Rd. Have questions? Give an adoptions counselor a call at 520-327-6088, ext. 173.

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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Arizona Basketball is Back—and the Fans Can’t be Happier

Posted By on Thu, Nov 7, 2019 at 11:56 AM

  • Logan Burtch-Buus
  • McKale Stadium
If you’ve attended an Arizona Wildcats basketball game over the past two decades, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve met Robert Wagner.

Wagner has been a steadfast presence at Arizona sporting events, serving as an usher at men’s and women’s basketball games, as well as working football and softball events.

Wagner is a tall and amiable gentleman, with a trademark mustache that’s occasionally dyed various shades of red and blue.

His path to joining the University’s athletics department began two decades ago, after the former Tucson Fire Department employee shattered his leg when his motorcycle was hit by a semi.

Wagner was told he’d never walk again, but willed himself to do just that, thanks in part to taking on a role as an usher at Arizona Stadium in 2000.

“They told me I’d never walk again, so I came to [then-University of Arizona Assistant Athletic Director] Suzy Mason and said, ‘I need a job Suzy, I need to walk.’ They hired me in 2000 to work football and now I do football, softball, women’s volleyball, women’s basketball,” Wagner said. “I love it. It keeps me young; it keeps me moving and being around the kids is a blast.”

Wagner has worked a host of athletic events, but said he feels most at-home inside the friendly confines of McKale Center, a venue he’s been intimately involved with for more than four decades.
His time inside the palatial basketball arena dates back to 1983, when his adult league team used to scrimmage against then-coach Lute Olson’s roster during the hall of fame coach’s first season in Tucson.

Wagner and his longtime ushering colleague, Barry Scofield, were inside the venue for the Wildcats’ home opener against Northern Arizona University, which the Wildcats won in a walk, 91-52, last Wednesday, Nov. 6.

The pair have worked together for eight years, with Scofield coming over from Kino Stadium where he ushered for the city’s former AAA baseball team, the Tucson Sidewinders. Before that, he had a long career in the Navy and with Boeing, where he built some of the company’s most well-known aircraft.

A former member of the Blue Angels demonstration team, Scofield has seen a lot of highs and lows in his eight seasons as an usher, including Pac-12 regular season championships in 2014, ’15, ’17 and ’18.

The highlight for the former Washington State resident is the people he’s met along the way, many of whom he’s on a first-name basis with.

“I enjoy mingling with the season ticketholders as they come through and I’ve gotten to know them and it’s always good to see them,” Scofield said. “I enjoy the people, I enjoy helping them, I enjoy being around them. I enjoy solving their problems for them. I treat them like I would my family.”

Two of those regulars include John and Linda DeCastro, who sit midway up the upper concourse level of section three.

The couple are second-year season ticketholders, receiving the golden tickets from their son and daughter-in-law.

The DeCastros were the first people to arrive in their section last Wednesday night, settling into their plush seats about 90 minutes prior to tipoff.

Attending Arizona home games has been a rite of passage for both members of the DeCastro family for decades, as Wildcat basketball is a way of life for the family.

The couple agreed that the pageantry of college basketball is what they love most about attending games. They enjoy watching the Pride of Arizona pep band launch into its setlist and actively scout players from both teams to see who’s hot and who’s struggling with their shot.

Both believe the Wildcats will be much improved from a year ago, when the team suffered through a 17-15 season, missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012.

Their faith looked rather prescient last Wednesday, as the Wildcats shellacked an overmatched Lumberjacks team, with 6-foot-11-inch freshman forward Zeke Nnaji scoring 20 points to lead the team to a one-sided romp.

“I think they’re going to have a really successful season this year and I’m glad that we’re going to be here to see it happen,” John said. “We were basketball fans before we got these seats, but we’re really, really big fans of Arizona basketball now.”

Home court advantage

Arizona coach Sean Miller, who’s entering his 10th season in Tucson, praised the likes of John and Linda after Wednesday’s game.

Miller said announced crowd of 12,960 gave his players a jolt of energy, allowing them to come out hot and bury the Lumberjacks early.

“We had a great crowd here on opening night,” Miller said. “All you need to do is look around America and you see that the opening game, especially on a weekday, isn't always filled.

“I'd like to thank them for showing up and being as active as they were. It was exciting to return to McKale. And our players feed off of that. This is a magical arena and I think all of us feel a great sense of pride to perform well and to play with great effort because of the crowd and the tradition that we have here.”

Nnaji admitted to being a bit awestruck at first by the crowd, before acquiescing and thriving off their collective energy.

“It was great,” he said. “It was so fun to make a big play or getting a defensive stop and hear the crowd cheering you on. I think just gave everyone extra energy.”

Longtime Arizona employees like Wagner and Scofield can attest to the effect that the McKale Center crowd can have on opposing teams.

A glance at the school’s record book will tell you that the Wildcats have won 602 of their 709 games at the arena, which opened its doors in 1973.

The uniqueness of McKale Center, according to Wagner, is its ability to bring together a ravenously passionate fanbase that spans age groups.

The veteran usher believes the fanbase in Tucson is among the best in the nation, which makes his role all the more entertaining.

“I feel very fortunate to be alive and in McKale,” Wagner said. “Every game’s great, every game’s exciting. They’re fun to be around. They keep you young.”

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Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Supervisors Approve Plan to Fix All County Roads in 10 Years

Posted By on Tue, Nov 5, 2019 at 3:28 PM

The Pima County Board of Supervisors have approved a new policy which will repair all of the county’s roads in 10 years and fund other infrastructure projects.

On Nov. 5, the board unanimously approved the policy which will use the General Fund to pay for capital infrastructure projects in the county, including roads in unincorporated areas.

It is a policy similar to one already being utilized in Maricopa County, and will be used by the county administrator to craft a recommended budget each year.

The Pay-As-You-Go plan (PAYGO) will provide $10 million next fiscal year for road repair, along with an additional $16 million of Transportation Department funding. Several other county departments, like the wastewater department, already use PAYGO plans for their infrastructure needs.

The majority of PAYGO funds will be used for road repairs and will later primarily fund projects identified in the Integrated Infrastructure Plan.

Funding for PAYGO will come from a percentage of growth in the overall county tax base and from recapturing a portion of the taxes no longer needed to pay off bonds, while also reducing the combined county property tax rate over time.

The Board of Supervisors voted to apply 60 percent of the tax base increase to PAYGO when the county’s annual budget is being crafted. They are also directing the county administrator to reduce the primary tax rate to provide relief for the remaining 40 percent of growth in the tax base.

The county anticipates that the amount of money needed to pay off its bond debts will decline significantly in coming years, and so the tax rate needed to pay off debts can be reduced year-over-year, declining to zero in ten years.

“This PAYGO plan will provide us the funding to make sure our critical infrastructure is maintained and that we’re meeting the needs of a growing population, while at the same time providing tax relief to county taxpayers. It is a win-win plan that still gives the board the flexibility to determine funding priorities every year,” said County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry in a release.

To learn more about the PAYGO plan, see Huckleberry's memo to the board here.

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XOXO: Where to Rock, Tuesday, Nov. 5

Posted By on Tue, Nov 5, 2019 at 1:00 AM

  • Courtesy photo (
Raised on a cock-eyed mishmash of punk rock, Irish ballads and old-time string bands, this Appalachian storyteller sharpened a distinctive sound on banjo and fiddle the hard way—busking on gritty streets for coins and dollar bills. After The Flood, Matt Heckler awash with the light of the "Midnight Sun" is at 191 Toole. Lo-fi country singer Casper Allen carves patterns in his creases until his wrinkles start to come...

These heavy metallists drew influence from kung-fu cinema for their moniker and the title of their debut album, The Way of the Fist. Now Five Finger Death Punch bring And Justice For None (Prospect Park, 2018) to the Tucson Convention Center. With Canadian post-grunge/alt-rockers Three Days Grace, Bad Wolves and Fire From the Gods...

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Monday, November 4, 2019

PACC Celebrating PetSmart National Adoption Weekend

Posted By on Mon, Nov 4, 2019 at 1:20 PM

  • Courtesy photo
Pima Animal Care Center announced it is waiving adoption fees on any animal four months of age or older between Nov. 8-10 at two PetsMart locations in Tucson.

The adoption events, which will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the PetSmart on Oracle and Wetmore (4374 N. Oracle Road) and at El Con Mall (3695 E. Broadway Boulevard).

PACC currently has 397 dogs and 229 cats available for adoption, with another 934 available to foster.

A $20 licensing fee applies to all dogs that are adopted at the events, though the animals are all spayed/neutered, and have vaccinations and microchips included in the cost.

For more information on PACC and the adoption event, visit

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Staff Pick

TMA Holiday Art Market

The Holiday Art Market brings together more than 100 artisans selling handmade and one-of-a-kind items. Browse original… More

@ Tucson Museum of Art Fri., Nov. 22, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat., Nov. 23, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sun., Nov. 24, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 140 N. Main Ave.

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