Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Posted By on Tue, Dec 21, 2021 at 4:00 PM

click to enlarge Youth Advocate and Elementary School Teacher Diletta Dang Dies at 35
Courtesy Kaia Lacy
Diletta Dang, a youth advocate, social activist and elementary school teacher died on Dec. 10. She was 35.

Dang, known affectionately by family as “the little one,” was a sharp wit who was passionate and joyous. She was filled with brilliant ideas and dreams of adventure. She believed that education could empower youth to carve out a better world, and fiercely advocated for the support of their potential.

Earlier in life, she served as a Skrappy’s volunteer in rotating programs supporting at-risk youth, speaking at City Council Meetings and assisting in forums to implement protections and assistance for the ones who fell through the cracks.

After graduating from the UA and receiving her masters in teaching from the University of Chicago, Dang returned home to the desert and served in Tucson as a public school teacher. She continued to be an outspoken advocate of the underserved, always committed to civic engagement aimed to support those facing social and racial inequities.

Throughout her life she imprinted her legacy on the people she loved and supported, and the many children who sat in her classroom. No amount of words can encompass her beauty, or the immeasurable loss felt by her death.

A public celebration of love for Dang will be held Jan. 9, 2022, at La Cocina at 5 p.m.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Posted By on Tue, Oct 19, 2021 at 1:00 AM

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Posted By on Thu, Apr 15, 2021 at 1:36 PM

click to enlarge Cannabis Pioneer Who Developed Hand-Crafted Marijuana-Infused Edible Dies
Courtesy Copia
Peggy Noonan
Peggy Noonan, an Arizona cannabis pioneer, died on April 10. She was 73.

Copia Infusions announced Noonan's passing after a four-year battle with leukemia.

“Peggy was a pioneer in life, as in with business, and was one of the early trailblazers in the Arizona medical marijuana industry," said a Copia press release. "For nearly the past 10 years, Peggy put her extraordinary energies and talents into building business enterprises that have bloomed into Copia, an industry leader in infused products with the first scratch made cannabis kitchen in Arizona and with leading products, like OGeez!”

Noonan's son, Bran Noonan, will take over her work at Copia.

“For those who knew my mother, it goes without saying that she loved this company and the Arizona community, and bringing the passion she put into the company to others,” Bran Noonan said. “My mother possessed an unmatched entrepreneurial spirt, and as the company moves through 2021 and beyond, we will do so in her honor and by continuing to build upon her legacy.”

Noonan started her career in cannabis right out of college, “at a time that was all about bringing peace and love to the world, while striving for a higher consciousness in making a difference,” according to Noonan's bio on the Copia website.

In 2013, her passion for cannabis infusion was re-ignited with the launch of the Arizona Medical Marijuana program. In late 2017, Noonan was diagnosed with Acute Myloid Leukemia and fought the disease with several of her own products, particularly Copia’s homeopathic cannabis tincture oil.

During her fight, she continued researching ways to make products even healthier while maintaining mainstream taste. After a journey through traditional and cannabis medical treatments, Noonan announced in 2018 that she was cancer-free. She was again diagnosed with Leukemia in late 2019 and succumbed to the disease early this month.

After being involved in the industry for 40 years, she was a believer in the need for education, standardized testing and proper dosing. She held regular training sessions with staff members at dispensaries and cannabis education schools, teaching aspiring professionals about proper dosing and how medical marijuana can better serve patients.

Noonan was also on the Labeling and Packaging Committee with the Arizona State Department of Health Services for best practices in dosage and safety labeling and packaging.

A native New Yorker, Noonan graduated from Arizona State University and Parsons School of Design. She spent time as an interior designer, developer and general contractor in New York before moving to Arizona. Noonan also owned Reliance Commercial Construction Inc., which specializes in MMJ dispensaries, cannabis production facilities, and cultivation sites, with a specialty in food services and restaurants.

Information for this report was taken from Peggy Noonan's bio on azcopia.com.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Posted By on Thu, Feb 11, 2021 at 7:16 AM

Friday, January 15, 2021

Posted By on Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 12:30 PM

click to enlarge Tom Danehy Pays Tribute to the Late PCC Baseball Coach Rich Alday
Courtesy Pima Community College
Rich Alday talks with his PCC baseball team.

In his sports column in Explorer and Marana News, longtime TW columnist Tom Danehy pays tribute to the late Rich Alday, who coached baseball at Pima Community College and softball at Ironwood Hills High School. An excerpt:

It is said that a good coach can coach anything. The story is told of Vince Lombardi, fresh out of college, being asked to coach a high-school basketball team. After admitting that he had never even seen a basketball game before, Lombardi studied a basketball rule book and then proceeded to coach the team to the State championship game.

After coaching baseball for 40 years, Alday pulled a late-in-life switch and became the softball coach at Ironwood Ridge High School. All he did there was go 107-33 in four years, guiding the Nighthawks to Class 5A State championships in 2014 and 2016.

Alday, 71, had been battling cancer. He and his wife, Norma, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last July. In 1995, the couple lost their beloved son, Ambrose, to cancer at the age of 16. Rich is a Tucson legend. He knew everyone and everyone knew him. He will be missed.

Read the whole thing here.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Posted By on Thu, Dec 17, 2020 at 12:47 PM

Celebrate DJ Scott Kerr's Life on KMKR 99.9 FM This Friday
KMKR 99.9
Scott Kerr, a.k.a The Vinyl Wizard

If you hung out anywhere around Fourth Avenue or downtown Tucson in the past decade, you're most certainly familiar with multi-instrumentalist and KMKR DJ Scott Kerr, a.k.a The Vinyl Wizard.

Kerr, 51, passed away in November.

His friends at KMKR 99.9 FM are celebrating Kerr's beautiful and musical life with a Facebook Live event, featuring DJ sets by DJ Herm Guzman, remembrances from Tucson's creative community and a virtual benefit auction featuring Scott's massive collection of musical gear, instruments, costumes and other mementos. Proceeds will go to the Kerr family and KMKR Radio 99.9 FM.

The event kicks off at 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 18.

Click here for more information about the auction and celebration of the Vinyl Wizard's life. 

Friday, August 28, 2020

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2020 at 10:06 AM

click to enlarge RIP, Lute Olson: Legendary UA Basketball Coach Dies at Age 85
Courtesy University of Arizona Athletics
Goodbye, Coach

It’s probably fair to say that Linda Ronstadt is the most-impressive Tucsonan ever born here. And, with his passing late Thursday evening, it’s undeniable that Lute Olson is the most-impressive Tucsonan to have lived and died here. Olson had been in failing health after suffering multiple strokes. He was 85.

There is no way to overstate what Olson did for the University of Arizona, its basketball program, the city of Tucson, and the state of Arizona. He was a towering basketball god, recognizable worldwide for his physical stature, his steely presence on the sidelines, and, most notably, for his perfectly coiffed silver hair. Through work ethic and excellence, he brought status and pride to the community and he was absolutely beloved for his efforts. In a country with several huge metropolises in which an urban sport like basketball can flourish, it’s remarkable that the three meccas of the collegiate sport are Durham, North Carolina; Lexington, Kentucky; and Tucson, Arizona.

Even more than a decade after he stepped down, when a kid in Ivory Coast or Costa Rica, Budapest or Singapore picks up a basketball, they know about Arizona. It’s a legacy well-earned and one cherished by Tucsonans.

Olson took a circuitous route to Arizona after starting his coaching career as a high-school coach in Southern California. It’s rare, but not totally unheard of, for a prep coach to make the leap to a major-college job. He started out coaching high school ball in Minnesota, the state in which he had graduated from Augsburg College. While at Augsburg, he played four years of football and basketball (going by “Luke” Olson). His senior year, he even played a season of baseball and was named the school’s athlete of the year.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Posted By on Tue, Aug 25, 2020 at 11:30 AM

click to enlarge Goodbye, Dad: RIP Jim Counts, 1958-2020
Courtesy Austin Counts
Jim Counts: 1958-2020

James Christopher Counts lived life on his own terms.

The man was born on July 23, 1958 in Birmingham, Alabama, and bled Bama’s crimson red until the day he passed away, Aug. 23, 2020. He was 62 years old.

Like many southern gentlemen, Jim had a charming personality but could be as ornery as the day was long. More often than not, he was generous and kind to those around him and quick with a joke—usually inappropriate— to lighten a somber mood.

He’s best known for owning Nimbus Brewing Company from 2000 until its closing in 2018.

Jim was the youngest of three siblings who spent their formative years living throughout the country and Europe due to their father being an electrical engineer always on the hunt for the higher paying job. He said it was an exciting childhood but moving nearly every school year left him without close friends. Jim wanted to make sure my brother James and I were spared this fate.
In 1989, my father drove us cross country to take a job in the Old Pueblo. He briefly visited Tucson in the mid 1980s and thought it was one of the most beautiful places he had ever encountered in all his travels. The Sonoran Desert is where he wanted his family to settle down and grow roots.

Jim purchased a Hallmark store in a no-so-great shopping center soon after moving to Tucson. He saw the investment as his chance to be a business owner at 32 years old, while buying into a franchise at a rock bottom price. Within a few short years Jim had moved the card shop to a better area and turned business around. He sold the store for a considerable profit in the late 1990s and soon purchased Nimbus Brewing Company in 2000 after his son, James, gave him a tip it was for sale.

My father didn’t start Nimbus—that honor goes to Nimbus Couzin—but he had a vision of what this city’s brewing culture could be while helping kickstart our local craft beer community.
While Nimbus Brewing Company never made the leap from its warehouse location on 44th Street—political and local opposition to the proposed building’s construction site soured the brewery’s move downtown—Jim did open a satellite restaurant, Nimbus Bistro on Tucson’s old Restaurant Row.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Posted By on Wed, Aug 5, 2020 at 2:58 PM

Pete Hamill, a journalist, novelist, essayist, editor and educator, died today at age 85. Hamill was a longtime New York City columnist whose byline appeared in the Daily News, New York Post, Village Voice, Newsday and many others. His novels include Forever and Snow in August. He was NYC through and through.

Hamill penned the introduction to Tucson author Tom Miller's collection of essays and articles Revenge of the Saguaro. The Weekly is reprinting it with the kind permission of Miller in Hamell's honor.

Tom Miller found his way west from Washhington, D.C. during the late 1960s, that time in America when revolt was in the air along with a demand for renewal, both fueled by the music of rebellion. Young Americans were saying a collective No to the war in Vietnam. Parents were rejected, the suburbs were rejected, racism was rejected.

But that immense No also contained a very large Yes. The young, Miller among them, were trying very hard to make something new—that is, to establish values and social codes that were more humane, more open, more free. They talked about new ways of living. They started communes. They talked about the land. Some of it was foolish, much of it was adolescent, but a lot of it was touching and real.

The Yes played itself out in the American West. The East came to symbolize decay: physical decay, the collapse of industry and cities, the end of the immigrant myth. The migration into open places was an American migration, with millions of Americans leaving one version of the country and going to another. Tom Miller embraced the borderlands of the Southwest, as if sensing that his own subject matter lay in the buried templates of that beautiful, empty region that had once been Mexico.

He started writing for alternative newspapers, the many weeklies that grew up in the era in homage to—or imitation of—New York’s Village Voice. Those newspapers defined themselves by attitude and tone. They made no pretensions to an impossible objectivity; that was a time, after all, for choosing sides. But they intensely covered those subjects that got scant (or clumsy, or baffled) coverage in the mainstream press: the anti-war movement, drugs, racism, feminism, music, and the people who lived on the margins of the so-called American dream.

Miller was somewhat different; he embraced the subject matter without adopting the furious tone. He was too good a reporter and too fair a man to fall easily into glib ideological ranting, substituting rhetoric for seeing. He loved the Southwest because of what it was, instead of what it was not. But he wasn’t a booster out of the chamber of commerce either. He loved the border towns, from which Mexico had never departed, and celebrated their disorder and danger and tawdriness. He loved the austere pleasures of life in the desert. He loved places like Bisbee, the site of so many heartbreaking nights in the struggle to establish unions. And he wrote about those places with affection for the people who shared his own visions.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Posted By on Tue, Jun 2, 2020 at 3:41 PM

click to enlarge Tucson Honors George Floyd's Memory at The Dunbar Pavilion
Austin Counts
Event organizers Jahmar Anthony and Zion Givens ask the crowd to hold up a fist and observe an 8 minute and 46 second moment of silence for Geroge Floyd during the vigil at the Dunbar Pavilion on June 1, 2020. Floyd was killed Monday, May 25 after a police officer held his knee to the 46-year-old Minneapolis resident's neck for nearly nine minutes.