Community Info

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Community Unites to Support India Oven

Posted By on Sun, Jul 16, 2017 at 3:05 PM

COURTESY OF INDIA OVEN VIA FACEBOOK.
  • Courtesy of India Oven via Facebook.
Several weeks ago, Harmesh and Raksha Bhatti, owners of the Tucson-favorite India Oven, were burglarized. Thousands of dollars worth of damage was inflicted on the Bhatti's home, including the theft of family heirlooms, computers and a television, as well as, the destruction of the property and the remaining possessions within.

Since word of the incident has spread, community members from across Tucson have expressed an interest in helping the Bhattis recover from their losses.

One such effort comes from another Tucson-staple, the Twisted Tandoor. On Thursday, July 13, the Twisted Tandoor posted to their Facebook page that for the next four Mondays, a portion of all earned proceeds will go to helping the Bhattis restore their home.

Another community effort comes from India Oven patron Ori Parnaby. As a longtime frequenter of India Oven, Parnaby seeks to rally community support and alleviate stress on the Bhatti family through a crowd funding initiative on YouCaring. To date, Parnaby’s campaign has raised $933 toward its $10,000 goal.

In the coming weeks, consider dining at the India Oven (2727 N. Campbell Ave.) or Twisted Tandoor (4660 E. Camp Lowell Dr.), or donating to Parnaby’s campaign and showing the Bhattis your support.

For more information, contact the Twisted Tandoor at (520) 495-5499, or donate to Parnaby's Campaign at YouCaring.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Stories Can Change Our World: How Kore Press Keeps Fighting the Good Fight, Despite the Odds

Posted By on Thu, Jul 13, 2017 at 4:31 PM

Kore Press Grrls: Bowden and three participants from Kore's Grrls' Literary Activism Workshop at Cornel West lecture. - COURTESY KORE PRESS
  • Courtesy Kore Press
  • Kore Press Grrls: Bowden and three participants from Kore's Grrls' Literary Activism Workshop at Cornel West lecture.

The mighty Kore Press is a Tucson-based nonprofit independent publishing house and literary justice organization. For 24 years, the press has worked to ensure that marginalized voices: women, people of color, queer and trans folks, have a forum. Founder Lisa Bowden is trying to raise $20,000 for book printing, publishing staff, anthology editorial/artist fees. The Indiegogo campaign has currently raised 13 percent of its goal. Funding for literary endeavors is never easy, and the odds are stacked. Fewer people are reading books for one thing. That, and Bowden and Kore are publishing voices that’d go unheard into the mainstream.

Creating a people-powered publishing house has become the most sustainable route for extending Kore Press. A significant portion of the budget comes from support by the NEA, NEH and associated funding sources. With NEA and NEH funding on the chopping block in Trump’s 2018 budget, here Bowden opens up about what mainstream publishing is missing today and what we can expect for Kore Press' fall season.
Lisa Bowden. - COURTESY OF KORE PRESS
  • Courtesy of Kore Press
  • Lisa Bowden.


Kore Press has been running since 1993. What made you want to create this press?

After graduating from the UA and working in the Tucson literary community, I wondered why we weren't exposed to more women writers in school, especially when Tucson is so rich with talent. After working for five years with another press learning printing and binding, and acquiring my own equipment, Karen Falkenstrom, Kore Press co-founder, and I discovered we both wanted to make a feminist/social justice impact with the literary arts, and so, Kore Press was born.

The way people consume media has largely shifted to an online format. What is it like running Kore Press in 2017? How has it adapted?
We publish online as well as in print, and have been growing our digital presence as reading, activist and communications culture has shifted. Digital printing allows us to keep producing books in much smaller runs of our titles, which is more economically feasible for small presses.

What does Kore Press look for in a prospective author?
We are focusing in recent years on writers who are interested in experimental forms, or content, that have potential for social impact. We have done, and plan to continue doing, community programming around certain artists or works to create larger public conversations which engage folks in innovative ways.

What is mainstream publishing missing? Why aren’t marginalized groups able to tell their stories in that forum?
Mainstream publishing is commercially driven, market-driven, so, it's missing a lot in terms of diversity. That is and has always been the strength of small presses—to take risks, work with all kinds of writers and voices.

With the proliferation of social media and personal technology, we have experienced a democratization of "publishing"—anyone with access can tell their story, can have an audience. Mainstream publishing, like mainstream media of all kinds, is largely governed by corporate forces, so you tend to see the same issues of systemic racism, sexism, capitalism—intersecting oppressions—that we see in large institutions and governments.

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Friday, June 16, 2017

Border Patrol Agents Bust Migrants Seeking Medical Aid at No More Deaths Desert Camp

Posted By on Fri, Jun 16, 2017 at 3:55 PM

no_more_deaths_arrests.png
The Border Patrol arrested four undocumented border-crossers receiving medical attention at a humanitarian-aid station on Thursday evening, breaking with years of precedent.

A helicopter, 15 trucks, two quadrant vehicles and 30 armed agents descended on the medical-aid station, search warrants in hand, after tracking a group of migrants for 18 miles, according to the humanitarian-aid group, No More Deaths, which runs the humanitarian-aid station in Arivaca, Arizona, less than 15 miles from the Arizona-Mexico border.

“Right now, the No More Deaths humanitarian-aid station is not a place that is safe to provide humanitarian aid,” said Eva Lewis, volunteer with NMD. “There’s a lot of people in dire medical need who are coming through the desert, and it’s really important that those people have a place to seek medical aid without fear of incarceration and/or fear of deportation.”

The Pima County Medical Examiner has received 2,615 sets of human remains from 2001 through 2016 recovered in the Tucson Sector border region. Historically, the number of deaths peak during June and July due to extreme heat. In 2016, 31 percent of human remains were recovered during these hotter months.

Humanitarian groups along the entirety of the U.S.-Mexico border say the total number of deaths is around 7,000 since border policy toughened in 1998.

According to NMD, the group has had an unsigned written agreement with the Tucson Sector Border Patrol since 2013, with the federal agency pledging to not to interfere with the humanitarian camp that provides life-saving medical treatment to many migrants every year.

In the agreement, BP agreed to “respect the NMD camp as a medical facility under the international Red Cross standards, which prohibit government interference with humanitarian aid centers,” wrote John Fife, one of NMD’s founders, in a statement released on Facebook last night.

The Red Cross’ code of conduct, referred to in the agreement reads: “The right to receive humanitarian assistance, and to offer it, is a fundamental humanitarian principle which should be enjoyed by all citizens of all countries. As members of the international community, we recognize our obligation to provide humanitarian assistance wherever it is needed.”

The statement also reads that governments should recognize and respect the actions of humanitarian aid agencies.

“This was a targeted attack on humanitarian aid,” Lewis said. “This was an attempt to intimidate and prevent the camp from being able to function in a humanitarian role.”


Continue reading »

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Pima County Fair is Back and You Don't Want to Miss It

Posted By on Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 5:30 PM

FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
It’s that time of year again folks: The Pima County Fair is back which, for most, is the official kickoff to summer in Tucson.

Here’s your guide on some quick information you should know before attending. 
  • The Pima County Fair will take place April 20-30. General admission is $8, ages 6 to 10 are $4, and kids who are 5-years-old and under are free.

  • The annual fair is adding activities to their list with more concerts, food, rides, and exhibits. Popular events from previous years are back such as the butterfly exhibit, John Shaw’s Freak Show, and the Wild About Monkeys exhibit.

  • Concerts during the full ten days of the fair will include performances by T-Pain with Naughty by Nature, Rockfest with Cinderella’s Tome Keifer and Winger, Josh Turner, Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild Live!, Lil Yachty, Tanya Tucker, and many more.

  • If you are still a kid at heart who now also has a kid, the carnival section is where you want to be. Two types of carnival sections will be available for everyone: The Kiddie Land Carnival is for families with younger children and The Tucson Weekly Carnival is designed for those adventure-seeking Tucsonans.

  • Guests can purchase a wristband in order to go on all the rides or you can purchase individual tickets at the ticket booth. The fair is offering a “Fun Pass” to fair goers which acts as a debit card and once the card is scanned before going on a ride, the number of “tickets” for that ride is deducted from the card.

  • For all the horse lovers out there, the fair will be having horse shows that include performances from competition horses such as hunter/jumper, Arabian, reining horse, paint horse, quarter horse, and a lot more.

  • And, as for the real reason why anyone goes to fairs, the food is going to be great. There are going to be many options to choose from, so come hungry. For annual fair goers, you’ll see new food stations too so it’s a win-win for everyone. Some popular foods to expect there are Lisa’s Sonoran Hot Dogs, Mustards Café, Candy Factory, Big Dogs, Dutchmen’s Funnel Cakes, Squeezers, Texas Steak out, and Get Pickled.

  • The newbies will include Sleek Greek, Sweet Cheeks Deep Fried Sweets, Hot Dog on a Stick, and Tommy D’s Burgers—yum.

  • The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona and Greater Vail Community Resources are partnering to collect food for their organizations and as a reward to whoever brings in three cans of food before 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 20 and Sunday, April 30, they will get free admission into the fair so be a good person and donate food to help feed the hungry.

  • An annual livestock auction will be taking place under the county fair Ramada during the second weekend. Large animals will be auctioned on Saturday, April 29 at 11:45 a.m. and small animals will be auctioned the next day at 10:30 a.m.

  • Also, during the second weekend of the fair is the Grand Canyon Pro- Rodeo Association Rodeo at 1 p.m. in Manny’s Area.
Luckily for you, we can help you get in for free. Enter here, and we'll get in touch with winners throughout the fair. These passes are good for any night.

Main gate hours will open on Monday to Friday at 1 p.m. and on weekends at 10 a.m. All the exhibits open at the same time as the main gate but each hall close at different hours of the night.

The carnival hours will be Monday to Friday at 3 p.m. and on weekends at 11 a.m.

The fair will be located at 11300 S. Houghton Rd. which is one-mile south of the I-10 and Houghton Rd. exit. Parking is $5.

Be there or be square.

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Friday, March 31, 2017

Help the Humane Society of Southern Arizona Set a World Record

Posted By on Fri, Mar 31, 2017 at 2:41 AM


PHOTO CREDIT: FAMILYMWR/5548053540
  • Photo Credit: familymwr/5548053540

It’s time to put those canines on display!


The Humane Society of Southern Arizona is attempting to break the world record for the most dogs in one photograph. Owners should bring their pooches to La Encantada tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. to appear in the shot.


HSSAZ needs a minimum of 200 dogs to show up for the event, but hopes the turnout will be double that.


Although world records have previously been set for categories like ‘most dogs attending a sport

ing event’ and ‘most dogs wearing a bandana in one place,’ the Humane Society’s goal for this photo is a bit simpler. It doesn’t require dogs to belong to a certain breed or don a costume.


“We wanted to make sure our event was inclusive of all dogs,” said Andrea Mitchell, Humane Society of Southern Arizona public relations coordinator.


While the event is free to the public, participants are encouraged to donate at least $10. Proceeds will count toward the Humane Society’s fundraising goal for the Arizona Gives Day campaign on April 4. Arizona Gives Day helps nonprofit charitable organizations obtain financial support and bring awareness to their respective causes. The Humane Society aims to raise $80,000 this year.


“It seems pretty lofty, but Tucson is full of pet lovers who will rally behind us to reach that goal,” Mitchell said. “This is really the community’s animal welfare organization because we couldn’t be here without every donation.”


In addition to providing vaccinations, shelter and adoption services, the Humane Society educates the public on fighting problems associated with pet homelessness. Mitchell explained that the Humane Society spreads the message about the importance of spaying, neutering and properly caring for animals in southern Arizona.


“We are here for pets and the people who love them,” Mitchell said of the Humane Society's mission. “We want to make sure that our pet-loving community always has the opportunity to bond together.”


And whether you or your dog is the family’s publicity hound, be sure to arrive early to secure a good spot for the photo. Registration opens at 9 a.m. in the dirt lot adjacent to Firebirds Wood Fired Grill.


Dogs must remain on their leashes at all times. Mitchell mentioned there will be plenty of water stations set up, and owners can also bring treats, toys and "whatever else will get their dogs to 'stay' and smile." 


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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Two New(ish) Businesses to Visit During the Street Fair

Posted By on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 7:30 PM

The 47th Annual Street Fair is expected to attract more than 300,000 visitors this weekend. - HAILEY FREEMAN
  • Hailey Freeman
  • The 47th Annual Street Fair is expected to attract more than 300,000 visitors this weekend.


Isabella's Ice Cream (210 N. Fourth Ave.)

UA alumni Dominic and Kristel Johnson created Isabella’s in 2010, and opened their location on Fourth Avenue this past November.



“I love how many people walk in and discover it,” Kristel says of Isabella’s. “We’ve been here a few months so everyone is starting to figure out where the shop is now.”


Kristel has nothing but rave reviews for the area. It was her idea, after all, to move Isabella’s manufacturing to Fourth. 


“It’s been wonderful,” Kristel says of the neighborhood. “We love the location and the people are super friendly.”


Kristel prepares the treats in the back of the shop and tries to locally source all of her ingredients. Isabella’s uses cream and milk only from Arizona.


“Everything is fresh, natural, and pure,” Kristel says.


In addition to their ice creams and vegan sorbets, Isabella’s offers ice cream tacos, milkshakes, sundaes, popsicles and Belgian chocolate bonbons. If you’re the indecisive or overindulgent type, it is highly recommended that you try one of each. This selection will be available in-store the entire weekend.


And another menu item that’s sure to be a hit among Street Fairgoers? The ever-so-scrumptious fro-nut. Since its recent introduction, this doughnut ice cream sandwich has become a customer favorite. The Johnsons will be serving fro-nuts and cookie ice cream sandwiches from their vintage ice cream truck this weekend.


Mabel’s on 4th (419 N. Fourth Ave.)

After you’ve gotten your ice cream fix, come visit Mabel’s on 4th. This kitchen boutique opened in November 2016 and sells decor, gadgets and textiles to “make your kitchen smile.”


“We don’t have any serious kitchen stuff like pots and pans and cutlery,” owner Nicole Carrillo says. “We only carry fun stuff.”


The pair relocated from Savannah, Georgia where Nicole’s husband, Johnny, served in the Marine Corps. Nicole believes Tucson, specifically the Fourth Avenue area, is a “perfect fit” for Mabel’s and appreciates the friendliness of her customers.


“Everybody is so welcoming and kind,” Nicole says. “We decided the day we visited that we were going to move here.”


Johnny designs all of the LOL tea towels, including textiles supporting each branch of the military. Mabel’s will be offering 20 new towel patterns at Mabel’s booth this weekend only.


“Our booth will be nothing but all these fun tea towels,” Nicole says. “You’re sure to find something for everyone.”


Nicole says Mabel’s products appeal to all kinds of people, from grandparents to drinking friends.


A great gift for the latter group? A beer bottle or wine glass-shaped cookie cutter. Other quirky cookie cutter options include a bikini top, baseball glove and hippo.




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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Advice on Welcoming Immigrants, From SXSW

Posted By on Sun, Mar 12, 2017 at 3:21 PM

Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales, Philadelphia Mayor James Kenney and Kate Brick from New American Economy speak at SXSW on how and why cities should protect their immigrant communities. - DANYELLE KHMARA
  • Danyelle Khmara
  • Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales, Philadelphia Mayor James Kenney and Kate Brick from New American Economy speak at SXSW on how and why cities should protect their immigrant communities.

U.S. cities with large immigrant and refugee populations thrive in a variety of ways. There are ways to support this community, which have been proven to make a difference. At the South by Southwest Conference in Austin, Texas, mayors of two sanctuary cities and an expert on smart immigration policy spoke on these issues at “Building Bridges When Others Want to Build Walls.”

Welcoming Immigrants Benefits Everyone

• Immigrants keep America youthful, which is essential to a healthy economy and people.
The average age in Santa Fe, New Mexico, was rising, which is common for expensive tourist destinations, said the city’s mayor, Javier Gonzales. They saw that equalize as their immigrant population grew.

• Cities with more immigrants have lower crime rates.
The 10 U.S. cities with the highest percentage of refugees saw a decrease in violent crime and property crime by as much as 70 percent, from 2006 to 2015, according to New American Economy, an organization that studies immigrants’ impact on the U.S. economy.

Philadelphia, a sanctuary city, is at its lowest crime rate in 30 years, said the city’s mayor, James Kenney.

“One crime is one crime too many, but it’s not our immigrants that are doing so,” he said. “These folks work for a living. They start business. They employ people. They pay taxes when they don’t have the ability to take any advantage of those taxes.”

• Immigrants foster population growth, which fuels a healthy economy
Population growth provides taxes to fund shared services, encourages consumer spending to benefit the local economy, and raises housing values, said panelist Kate Brick, the director of State and Local Initiatives at New American Economy.

“There were no major metros in the United States that grew over the last 40 years without at least 10,000 immigrants joining those communities,” she said.

• Diversity is fun
Citizens of Philadelphia have a great time experiencing a variety of cultures right in their own city.

“You can get around our city and really experience every day almost a global trip,” he said.

Integrate and Protect Migrant Communities

• Immigrant-friendly resolutions
Gonzales passed an immigrant-friendly resolution in Santa Fe, which dictated that police should focus on serious crimes rather than looking at immigration status. And he saw it make a change.

“We saw this incredible move, this development in our community where the new immigrant became very much integrated into the fabric of our community,” he said. “They became job creators. They became young students in our schools.”

Tucson’s mayor, Jonathan Rothschild, passed a similar resolution in December.
Santa Fe also recently passed a confidentiality resolution, stating that government organizations won’t ask about documentation status.

Continue reading »

Monday, March 6, 2017

TUSD Celebrates Kindness Week After Driving Out Superintendent

Posted By on Mon, Mar 6, 2017 at 1:30 PM

All this week, TUSD schools are promoting and documenting kindness in their hallways and classrooms. - DANYELLE KHMARA
  • Danyelle Khmara
  • All this week, TUSD schools are promoting and documenting kindness in their hallways and classrooms.

In the wake of a divided governing board driving out Superintendent H.T. Sanchez, the Tucson Unified School District is now celebrating Kindness Week.

The TUSD board spent weeks discussing the fate of then-superintendent H.T. Sánchez before Sanchez worked out a deal to resign. Many will miss him, including Stefanie Boe, TUSD’s communications director. And while district employees adjust, they’re making an extra effort to stay positive.

“We are a kind community, and we’re here for each other,” she said. “We’re all in it together, and we make up the ‘unified’ in ‘Tucson Unified.’”

Bearing the tagline “find the kind,” the communication team will go to the schools and look for stories of kindness. They’ll be documenting these stories and buddy benches and murals on Facebook Live.

“People are doing these things already, but we just want to go find the kind,” Boe said.

The district usually does kindness week in May but decided the added focus on goodwill would be good for the district.

TUSD families and employees can share their school’s kindness stories by emailing media@TUSD1.org or posting on the district’s Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #FindTheKind.

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