Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Quick Bites: Exo's 5th Birthday Party

Posted By on Wed, Jul 26, 2017 at 6:30 PM


The coffee shop and roaster is rolling five years of being open, the halfway point of summer and Linda Ronstadt’s 70th birthday into one big celebration. The all-day event will offer coffee cocktails, Exo’s signature “Old Pueblo Opry” event and twilight movies during which you can sober up and simmer down from your coffee cocktail. 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, July 29. Exo Roast Co. 403 N. Sixth Ave. Free.

For more information, visit their Facebook event page.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Quick Bites: Main Gate Square Culinary Challenge

Posted By on Wed, Jul 26, 2017 at 5:15 PM


Free food! And we’re not talking stale donuts or bags of chips. Samples of signature dishes from Main Gate Square eateries include everything from gourmet mac and cheese to loose leaf tea to high-end sushi. As at the Rincon Market slugfest, attendees cast votes for the winner of the People’s Choice Award, but at this challenge, a panel of guest judges select winners for the Best of Main Gate 2017. Bar proceeds will go toward the Caridad Community Kitchen’s food training program. 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 29. Geronimo Plaza at Main Gate Square, 800 E. University Blvd. Free.

For more information, visit their Facebook event page.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Tour Diaries! XIXA Day 13: Italian Thieves! XIXA Tour Van Busted Into, Gear Ripped Off.

Posted By on Wed, Jul 26, 2017 at 4:30 PM

Day 13


That unlucky number. I never believed that, until today.

While we slept (late), thieves went shopping in our Mercedes Sprinter. It didn't help that the vehicle has a logo that screams, "Look! All-You-Can-Steal band gear inside!"
We were kinda relieved the thieves weren't pros ... - XIXA
  • XIXA
  • We were kinda relieved the thieves weren't pros ...

We were just enjoying our days off in Turin, Italy. That's when we were notified by the hotel front desk that the police needed a word with us, and that our vehicle was burglarized.


Just, great.
The 150.00 € parking mistake. - XIXA
  • XIXA
  • The 150.00 € parking mistake.

We don't have a security detachment, much less a crew, like some artists I've worked for. We are strictly DIY, which makes this even more difficult. Trying to find a secure place to park in Europe, especially in the more congested cities like Turin, is nearly impossible, like finding that proverbial needle in a hay stack. We thought we were lucky to secure the space. More, we were assured by hotel staff that it would be just fine where it was.

It wasn't.

The break-in itself seemed to be committed by amateurs, but apparently there's a web of thieves who go around stealing musical instruments all over Europe and, a lot of them end up in the U.K.
The Italian police were very helpful and even gave us a police escort to the glass repair shop and helped the glazier (also a drummer!) install the glass.

They Italian cops were big music fans and knew some of my history because, when they took my name down one of the officers immediately Googled it and up came an old image of me, in a past life.

I had more hair then.
The Italian Police, protection and service. - XIXA
  • XIXA
  • The Italian Police, protection and service.

I was struck by how compassionate and concerned they were, not only for our vehicle but for our safety in the city. For that we are very grateful. 
The Men in Blue and yours truly. When you like Rock, it doesn't matter what uniform you wear. - XIXA
  • XIXA
  • The Men in Blue and yours truly. When you like Rock, it doesn't matter what uniform you wear.

I think the one thing that I would tell any new touring band is this: If all the things that are precious to you inside your vehicle are not taken out by you, someone else will do it for you, gladly. And, not very politely.

I think you'd be better served if the side of your vehicle said "Diaper Service" instead of the logo we have that basically says,"Free gear inside, help yourself."

Thankfully, nobody was hurt and we all learned a valuable lesson.

But my beloved leather jacket is gone forever. 
Goodbye, old friend. - WINSTON WATSON
  • Winston Watson
  • Goodbye, old friend.

After repairs and anguish, we set about replacing our stolen gear $$$. Had some nice meals together, and retired, earlier than usual. Tomorrow, we play a nice festival, near Turin.

XIXA can't stop. Won't stop. Eh eh, eh eh.

Stay tuned.

 -WW, Italy

Tags: , ,

Jogger Plans Half-Day Run To Support No More Deaths

Posted By on Wed, Jul 26, 2017 at 3:45 PM

Ultra runner Jerry Schuster calls himself a glutton for punishment: Standard 26.2-mile marathons just aren't long enough for him.

On Saturday, July 29, he'll be doing a 12-hour run starting at 8 a.m. in order to raise money and awareness for No More Deaths, a humanitarian organization that works to reduce the deaths and suffering along the U.S./Mexico border.

The 62-year-old teacher has been on the ultra-long distance scene for years, participating in events like the Arizona 6-Day Race in Douglas. But at a certain point, he decided that, if he was going to be running dozens and dozens of miles anyway, he might as well do it for a cause. Many of the students that he works with are of Hispanic descent; he said they sometimes share disheartening stories about family members being pulled over or racially profiled.

"I'm hearing all of this hate-filled rhetoric against people with different backgrounds," he said.

This isn't the first time Schuster has done a run for a cause. He's done several 48-hour runs around the UA campus in support of refugees. When a major earthquake hit Nepal in 2015, he worked with the university's Nepalese Student Foundation to do a 24-hour run around Fourth Avenue. Though it was put together quickly and received little media exposure, the run still raised $2,500, simply from people coming up to the students at their table and asking what was going on.

This "do the damn thing" approach is historically Schuster's style. Rather than collecting per-mile or per-hour pledges, he just starts running and hopes it will get people's attention.

"The way that I envision the fundraising effort is to make use of the system already there," he said. "Why invent the wheel when they already have something that works?"

Schuster said he had several motivators for wanting to make a difference in immigration reform. He spoke about a friend, a fellow runner, who used to live in Douglas. While out on long training runs, he was frequently hassled by border patrol agents, even though he was a U.S. citizen. During World War II, some of Schuster's Jewish great aunts and uncles died in Auschwitz. He said he sees parallel treatment of immigrants today.

"When I hear about things like these raids along the border, it starts setting alarm bells off in my head," he said. "History has a way of repeating itself."

If you want to support No More Deaths, you can make a contribution here.

Tags: , , , , ,

A Few Thoughts On the Mexican American Studies Trial

Posted By on Wed, Jul 26, 2017 at 2:35 PM

  • Courtesy of Bigstock
The Mexican American Studies trial is over. Judge Tashima's decision could come in a few days or a few weeks, though from what I've heard, we might have to wait until the end of August. The defense of the MAS program can win in four ways. The judge can rule that the anti-MAS legislation, HB 2281, violated the equal protection clause with respect to the students in the program, or HB 2281 violated the first amendment rights of those involved in the program. Either ruling would mean ARS §15-112, the law created by HB 2281, will be tossed out. He can also rule that Huppenthal's enforcement of the legislation to dismantle MAS violated one or both of the issues, at which time Huppenthal's decision against the MAS program would be voided. If Tashima rules in favor of the defense on any of the four points, it will be an important victory for supporters of the Mexican American Studies program  Multiple rulings for the defense will be a triumph.

I would love to see Judge Tashima rule for the program and against the anti-MAS law and Huppenthal's enforcement. The whole affair smelled of politics and racism from the beginning.

Here's a question. Are Tom Horne and John Huppenthal a couple of racists who went after the Mexican American Studies program because they hate brown people? If the judge thinks so, the defense is going to win big. But that's not necessary. Even if they were the two least racist white folks on the planet, if they promoted a racist agenda to further their political ambitions, Horne's bill—he essentially wrote HB 2281—and Huppenthal's implementation of the bill could still be racially discriminatory.

A case in point. Remember George Wallace? He was the Alabama governor who stood in the doorway of the University of Alabama auditorium in 1963 to block two African Americans from registering, leading President Kennedy to call out the national guard to allow them in, effectively desegregating the university. But when Wallace ran for governor in 1958, he looked like a different guy when it came to racial issues. By the standards of the south, he was a civil rights moderate, so much so that his candidacy was endorsed by the NAACP. He ended up losing the primary to John Patterson who had the support of the Ku Klux Klan. Stung by his defeat, Wallace said, "You know why I lost that governor's race? ... I was outniggered by John Patterson. And I'll tell you here and now, I will never be outniggered again." And he never was. In 1963, he famously stated his platform as "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever." For Wallace, virulent racism was more career move than personal conviction.

During the MAS trial, Tom Horne claimed he isn't a racist, but he couldn't claim he wasn't ambitious. When he was Superintendent of Public Instruction, he envisioned himself sitting in the governor's chair after a brief stopover in the attorney general's office. All he needed was an issue to get him noticed, and it was handed to him in 2006 when labor activist and civil rights icon Delores Huerta uttered the phrase "Republicans hate Latinos" during a speech to students at Tucson High. The story blew up and became a cause célèbre among Arizona Republicans. For awhile it even went national, making it all the way to Bill O'Reilly's show on Fox. Horne saw his chance. He transferred the conservative fear of this one "uppity brown activist" to the entire Mexican American Studies program, painting its teachers and administrators as revolutionaries who wanted their students to rise up and reclaim the southwest for Mexico. The steps of the TUSD administration building became Horne's home away from home. He was a regular visitor, holding press conferences to condemn the program. Immigration and fear of the growing Hispanic population were already rallying cries for conservatives. Horne claimed a slice of the racist, xenophobic pie as his own.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

McCain Returns to Senate To Push Mystery GOP Healthcare Bill Forward

Posted By on Tue, Jul 25, 2017 at 5:23 PM

On Tuesday, Sen. John McCain returned to the Senate floor to cast his vote in a pivotal moment for the Affordable Care Act. Following surgery to treat a blood clot discovered in his brain, McCain was diagnosed with a deadly form of brain cancer at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix earlier last week.

With surgery scars visible above his left eye, McCain was met by a standing ovation as he took the floor to participate in the Senate's procedural health care vote. Though McCain cast his vote in favor of advancing the GOP’s efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, he also admonished both parties for their lack of bipartisan efforts in recent months.

“We’re getting nothing done my friends. We’re getting nothing done,” he said during his address to the Senate.

Following the outpouring of support from his colleagues and constituents, McCain called for restoring regular order and casting aside sentiments of partisanship, even though he cast the deciding vote to move forward with legislation that was being written on the fly.

But he also took a shot at President Donald Trump: “We are not the President’s subordinates. We are his equals.”

Prior to the vote, President Donald Trump tweeted that “Any senator who votes against starting the debate is telling American that you are fine w/ the OCareNightmare!”

Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkwoski of Alaska both voted agains the motion to proceed, along with all the Senate Democrats and independents. Vice President Mike Pence broke the 50-50 tie so the bill could move forward.

With the motion to proceed green-lighted, debate now will begin, although even senators appear to not know details about what legislation they are discussing.

McCain’s office announced that he will remain in Washington for the next few days before returning to Arizona to recover and receive further treatment.

What happens now is anyone’s guess.

BASIS Connives to Maintain Its Elite Charter School Status in Baton Rouge

Posted By on Tue, Jul 25, 2017 at 5:15 PM

Arizona has no restrictions on the makeup of a charter school's student body, so if a school happens to attract lots of upper income families, that's fine. Not so in Louisiana. If a school district is the chartering agent, the law says the student body has to have a similar percentage of "at risk" students as the district. That presents a problem for BASIS, which wants to open a school in Baton Rouge, where more than 70 percent of students come from families considered "at risk." BASIS thrives on catering to advantaged students. What to do?

BASIS came up with an answer. Build the school on the property of Woman's Hospital. Then half the school's student body can be children of the hospital employees—they get the first shot before other applicants are considered—and they aren't counted in the school's socioeconomic mix. So BASIS can forget the usual 70 percent mark for "at risk" students.
BASIS’ application estimates that only 20 percent of those students will come from poor backgrounds, sometimes called “at risk,” which would make it one of the most affluent public schools in the state.
I'm not sure how BASIS came up with the 20 percent figure. If half the student body follows the Louisiana guidelines, the number should be closer to 35 percent. But whatever the final numbers turn out to be, the school district's board is fine with the arrangement. It voted 6-0 to give BASIS a provisional contract.

The next time BASIS says its schools don't cater to an elite student body, think about Baton Rouge where BASIS is gaming the system to make sure most it enrolls as few "at risk" kids as possible. The truth is, BASIS's much-touted "best in the nation" status has always had more to do with its pupils than its pedagogy.

Tags: , ,

Tour Diaries! XIXA Days 10 - 12: On the Road From Switzerland to Italy. Also, Fetching Slovenian Checkpoint Guards!

Posted By on Tue, Jul 25, 2017 at 4:30 PM

Day 10-12

We drove from Thun, Switzerland to Turin (Torino), Italy, to play another cool festival.
XIXA at work. - XIXA
  • XIXA
  • XIXA at work.

There are only a few border checkpoints left in Europe. Somehow, I always wind up talking to the guards at those checkpoints. In Slovenia, the guards who stopped us looked like Sophia Loren, in the '60s. (faints) I forgot my own name. Yes, they were that beautiful...

Brian in Thun. - XIXA
  • XIXA
  • Brian in Thun.

The Italian guards were serious as a heart murmur, and not particularly attractive. Ha!

Direct eye contact and articulate, direct answers are important. Then, Poof! Passports back in hand, ease on down the road.

Arrived safely in Turin, checked into the hotel, and had a sumptuous, Italian meal, followed by a little grappa.

Madonnn ... (no 'a') is the expression I'll use to describe said meal.

Ok, now to enjoy the two days off in Turin.

Stay tuned.
Efrén at work. - XIXA
  • XIXA
  • Efrén at work.

P.S. I have a couple of vignettes for you, featuring our "French Connection." I'll speak with Doumé, our sound engineer, and our bassist, Hikit Corbel. They are two Frenchmen who will give you their perspective on being on the road  with bunch of American savages.

Merci Beaucoup,

-Winston Watson

Go here to read Day 9 of XIXA's tour diaries.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , ,

Staff Pick

The Harry Potter Charity Ball

Strada Company presents a celebration and cosplay party of all things Harry Potter for the benefit of… More

@ Tucson Scottish Rite Cathedral Sat., July 29, 6-10 p.m. 160 S. Scott Ave.

» More Picks

Submit an Event Listing

Popular Content

  1. A Few Thoughts On the Mexican American Studies Trial (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. Tour Diaries! XIXA Day 13: Italian Thieves! XIXA Tour Van Busted Into, Gear Ripped Off. (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. Quick Bites: Main Gate Square Culinary Challenge (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. BASIS Connives to Maintain Its Elite Charter School Status in Baton Rouge (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. Jogger Plans Half-Day Run To Support No More Deaths (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation