Friday, October 13, 2017

The Fix Is In: Free Spay and Neuter Event Hits Town This Weekend

Posted By on Fri, Oct 13, 2017 at 12:35 AM

COURTESY OF ZACH ZUPANCIC
  • Courtesy of Zach Zupancic
Need a pet spayed or neutered? This weekend at ASAVET Charities’ third annual MEGASpay and Neuter event is the perfect time to do it. Starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14 (dog day) and Sunday, Oct. 15 (cat day), the group will be providing spay and neuter surgeries for pets, along with any follow-up medications that might be needed. Because the nonprofit wants to do its part to improve animal health and safety, it’s putting the event on completely free of charge.

Completely free of charge.

So if you need a pet spayed or neutered (over 1,200 dogs and cats were spayed or neutered over the first two years, and ASAVET is expecting to provide surgery for about 300 animals this year), head over. If you don’t, head over to their website to make a tax-deductible donation to a good cause.

The ASAVET MEGA Spay and Neuter Event will be held beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14 and Sunday, Oct. 15. at the Old Mission Manor Elementary School, 6105 Santa Clara Ave. Visit AsavetCharities.org or contact Pat Hubbard at path@asavetcharities.org or 403-6947 to learn more.

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Weekly List: 24 Things To Do In Tucson This Week

Posted By on Thu, Oct 12, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Your Weekly guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo

Books!

Analog Hour at Tap & Bottle Downtown and Exo! Try leaving the house without your phone, just to see if you can do it. We’d suggest starting with something small, like going outside to check the mail, and then maybe a trip to the grocery store. And, when you’re ready to actually try to enjoy some of this phone-free time, then read a book, play a game, listen to some music, have a conversation or just sit at this monthly event at Exo and Tap & Bottle. 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15. Tap & Bottle, 403 N. Sixth Ave. Free entry.

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2017 All-Zona Book Fest. If a group of lions is called a herd, and a group of crows is called a murder, what do you call a group of local authors? Spend the day meeting a litter of authors responsible for some of the coolest mystery novels, memoirs, self-help books, children’s books and short stories around. The pack of pen-wielders will be available for a meet & greet, so attendees are in for a gaggle of good advice, behind-the-scenes info about favorite characters and the opportunity to meet the men and women behind the words. Bring a children’s book to help the event hosts, Gecko Gals, reach their goal of donating 500 books to Make Way for Books. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15. Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 E. River Road. Free.

Catalina Art Lovers Book Club. Books, of course, are an art form in and of themselves, but some people like their art to be about other art. For those of you in the art squared club, this book club is not to be missed. They’ll be meeting every second Friday, starting this month with The Scribe of Siena, in which a woman sees her own face in a fourteenth century painting and finds herself transported to medieval times—and we’re not talking the dinner theater. If you can’t make it to this one, stay tuned for future books: November’s The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild, December’s A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline and January’s Lisette’s List by Susan Vreeland. 10:30 a.m. to noon. Friday, Oct. 13. Dewhurst-Catalina Library, 15631 N. Oracle Road. Free.

Art

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The Year’s Strangest Art Show. Tales from the Trash is made up of two guys who pick up wacky and wild and sometimes wonderful art from thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales, swap meets and the occasional dumpster. The two are exhibiting pieces form their carefully curated selection for this well-named show, where most of the pieces will be for sale, and for a pretty low price. Maybe you were dumpster diver in a past life, but your back just isn’t what it used to be. Or maybe you just don’t want to go in a dumpster. Either way, at this show you can skip the dirty part and just let yourself reap the rewards. 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14. Iron Horse Fabricators, 503 E. Ninth St. Free.


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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Better Late Than Never: 1968 Film Makes World Premiere

Posted By on Wed, Oct 11, 2017 at 9:29 PM

Not long ago, Jere Michael’s wife had to give it to him straight about all the crap he had in the garage.

“’When you pass, I’m just going to throw it in the dumpster,’” he remembers her saying. “So that really motivated me.”

In the Great Garage Deterge, Michael happened to come across a short film he had made in 1968. It told the story of a group of teens from inner-city New York who were sent to an eight-week art camp at Vermont Academy in Saxtons River, VT. The film highlighted the importance of art education in the fight for civil rights and racial justice.

Students attending a 1968 art camp in Vermont, the subject of Jere Michael's film "Off the Streets." (Still from the film.) - COURTESY OF HANSON FILM INSTITUTE
  • Courtesy of Hanson Film Institute
  • Students attending a 1968 art camp in Vermont, the subject of Jere Michael's film "Off the Streets." (Still from the film.)
Sound relevant today? Yeah. Michael, who had never shown the film anywhere (“I’m not a very good self promoter,” he says), approached the University of Arizona and was referred to the Hanson Film Institute, where Director Vicky Westover was struck by how much this film needed to be shown. And so it is that Off the Street, a film from almost 50 years ago, is making its world premiere next week right here in Tucson.

Michael was there for Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech at the Lincoln Memorial. In fact, he waded through the water on the National Mall to get closer so he could hear.

“Of course, the police, at one point, stopped me,” he says with a laugh.

A passion for helping disadvantaged people runs in his family: his father was teaching English to black adults in the 1930s. Michael himself worked at a day care in Harlem during the Civil Rights Movement.

“We’ve always been prone to get involved with disadvantaged people in my family,” he said. “So I just grew up with that as a sort of model and tried to live that way for the rest of my life.”

In the wake of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, Michael was directing a summer theater in New Hampshire when he was approached by John and Kate Torres, a couple who were wondering if he wanted to make the documentary.

“I was very upset and very disturbed with what was going on in our country, the way ghettos were being handled, the way black kids were being treated, the lack of educational facilities,” Michael said.

And so he jumped on board right away. He learned a lot about filmmaking, he says, but he also got to know the program’s participants.

“I learned how talented, interesting and what good people they were,” he said.

Bernard Hoyes, who, at 16, was one of the youngest students at the art camp, was one of those people.

Hoyes spent his childhood in Jamaica, where he didn’t start attending school until he was 9 years old. Because he was behind, he didn’t pass the entrance exam into secondary school, and started learning the cabinetry trade when he was 11 or 12. His gift for art was his way out—at first metaphorically, but then literally.

“[Art] was something that I could do that nobody else could do,” he says. “Word got to my father to try and do something for me to try to get me a future.”

Hoyes’ father lived in New York, had never really been a part of his life. But when he heard about his son’s skills in art, he saved up for five years so that he could give Hoyes a future.


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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Andie Needs a Home

Posted By on Tue, Oct 10, 2017 at 11:00 AM

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Hi, I'm Andie!

I am a 1-year-old female looking for my fur-ever home! I am a very shy girl at first but once I get to know you I am very loving. I have a lot of energy so I would like to go to an active home. If you have any kids or dogs currently in your home I would love to meet them. I would do best in a home with older kids. Come meet me at Humane Society of Southern Arizona Main Campus at 3450 N. Kelvin Blvd., or give an adoptions counselor a call at 520-327-6088 x173.

Lots of Love,
Andie (845602)

Some Charter Schools Pay Students To Enroll, Or Get Their Friends To Enroll

Posted By on Tue, Oct 10, 2017 at 9:21 AM

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A story from ProPublica came across my desktop today, For-Profit Schools Reward Students for Referrals and Facebook Endorsements. It's about a for-profit charter school in Florida where students get a $25 gift card for every new student they find for the school.
Such incentives are rampant among for-profit operators of public alternative high schools like North Nicholas, which serves students at risk of dropping out. These schools market aggressively to attract new students, especially during weeks when the state is tallying enrollment for funding purposes. They often turn their students into promoters, dangling rewards for plugs on social media, student referrals or online reviews, a ProPublica-USA Today investigation found. Some also offer valuable perks simply for enrolling.
It reminded me of a story Ann-Pedersen told in 2013 on the cable access program she and I used to put together, Education: The Rest of the Story (It's a three minute video if you want to watch). As her son was walking out of his Tucson Unified middle school toward the end of the school year, he was handed a flier promising him $100 if he enrolled in the new charter, Rising School.

Tucson's Rising School currently has about 80 students. So far as I can tell, it no longer offers students $100 to enroll, but it does offer them $100 if they have perfect attendance for the first hundred days of school. I don't suppose it's a coincidence that enrollment during the first hundred days is what determines schools' state funding.

And whether the money goes to students for enrolling or for having perfect attendance, that $100 comes out of the state's funding for the school.

I don't know if this kind of thing is common in Arizona, but like so many questionable charter school practices, it looks like it's perfectly legit.

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Monday, October 9, 2017

Kirkpatrick Wins EMILY's List Nod in Race Against U.S. Rep. McSally

Posted By on Mon, Oct 9, 2017 at 11:19 PM

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With just two women among the five Democrats seeking to unseat Republican Congresswoman Martha McSally in Southern Arizona’s Congressional District 2, EMILY’s List had to make a choice between a former congresswoman in Ann Kirkpatrick and a retired Pentagon accountant in Mary Matiella.

The D.C.-based fundraising titan is going with Kirkpatrick.

Emily List President Stephanie Schriock called Kirkpatrick “a trailblazer who loves Arizona. Arizonans need her leadership and courage so she can continue fighting for opportunity, shared economic prosperity, and safe and thriving communities.”

It’s another sign—beyond Kirkpatrick’s third-quarter fundraising haul of $350K and her recent endorsements from former Southern Arizona representatives Gabby Giffords and Ron Barber—that the D.C. establishment is coming together to back Kirkpatrick, who previously represented another competitive Arizona district, the sprawling CD1.

But Matiella, who grew up in Tucson and beat the odds to build a long career as an accountant for the federal government, peaking as a United States Assistant Secretary of the Army in the financial arena during the Obama administration, has picked up her share of endorsements from Southern Arizona Democrats, including Congresswman Raul Grijalva, Pima County Supervisors Sharon Bronson and Richard Elias, Tucson City Councll members Regina Romero and Paul Cunningham.

The other Democrats vying for the nomination are former lawmakers Matt Heinz and Bruce Wheeler and political rookie Billy Kovacs.

Democrats hope to take back Congressional District 2 next year from McSally, who is in her second term. The former A-10 squadron leader is a rising Republican star who has been one of the top fundraisers in Congress, but also represents one of the most competitive seats in the nation. She won her seat by just 167 votes in 2014 when she unseated Barber, but easily cruised to reelection against Heinz last year.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Laughing Stock: 'Tit Tit Tit Tit Titty Titty Tit Tit TITTERS!'

Posted By on Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 10:31 AM

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“I just love saying the word over and over” says Tucson’s legendary cartoonist David Fitzsimmons. “I wonder if some media outlets will be uncomfortable with the name of the program.” Had he forgotten he was talking to the Weekly?

Fitzsimmons is all about tits, right now; specifically, about the cancer afflicting them. Last month he produced Thanks for the Mammaries, an evening of storytellers relating their own experiences with breast cancer. And he presents Titters, an almost-all-female comedy show, at Laff's Comedy Cafe, at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 11. Admission is $15.

Popular Tucson comedian and emcee Nancy Stanley hosts the program, which features Stacy Scheff , Mo Urban, Esther Brilliant, Brigitte Thum and Amber Frame. Headlining is Las Vegas comedian and author Traci Skene, who wrote the hilarious book, Sometimes Ask A Man, and co-wrote The Comedy Bible, an essential resource for starting standup comics. “I'm going to do probably ten minutes of comedy about cancer and my mom,” Fitzsimmons says. “We're going to laugh at breast cancer.

“The (women) who are part of this show are going to be talking about women's parts and how women deal with women's health issues. Guys should definitely go because it will be an eye-opener. Female comedians offer insight in a world that's patriarchal and male-dominated, and, wow. It’s a refreshing voice to hear.”

Fitzsimmons’ advocacy for breast cancer awareness is hard won. “My mighty mother and my sweet sis both perished from breast cancer,” he says. “I’m familiar with its ravages.” In fact, both his parents died of cancer within a month of each other when he was their caretaker. He was 24.
“I'm a survivor of bladder cancer, out of which I got 90 minutes of comedy gold. But I'm at the point of my life where I'm enjoying remembering my mom, and her really awesome sense of humor, which I can't help but guess I inherited. I watched my heroic parents deal with their travails with tasteless and inappropriate humor. It's contagious.”

Beyond what the media might think, Fitzsimmons has some concerns about the sensitivities of cancer victims and their loved ones. “Maybe some folks who are suffering through cancer will think, ‘There's nothing funny about cancer! It's a horrible, horrible disease.’ I would argue, having been through it and seen death up close, laughing at suffering is the best way to defy its power to overwhelm you.”

For Happier Habits

Fitzsimmons tackles a different deadly disease—substance abuse—with Fitz & Friends at the Whistle Stop, Sunday, Oct. 29, 5:30 p.m. at the Whistle Stop, 127 W. 5th St. The comedy show benefits Exodus Community Services, and features David Membrila, Josiah Osego, and improv by Not Burnt Out Just Unscrewed plus Stanley and Fitzgerald.

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Raising the CD2 Ante: Challenger Kirkpatrick Raises $350,000 in Third Quarter

Posted By on Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 8:49 AM

Ann Kirkpatrick
  • Ann Kirkpatrick
Ann Kirkpatrick, one of five Democrats vying to unseat Congresswoman Martha McSally next year, has raised $350,000 since entering the race two months ago.

Team Kirkpatrick boasted that the "haul is a record-breaking amount for a Democratic challenger in Arizona in an off-year third quarter."

Kirkpatrick, who previously represented Congressional District 1 until last year (when she stepped down to unsuccessfully challenge Sen. John McCain), will report more than $270,000 cash on hand when she files her FEC report, according to Team Kirkpatrick.

"I am humbled by the outpouring of support, especially from grassroots donors in the first months of the campaign," said Kirkpatrick. "I am ready to hold Martha McSally accountable for her reckless vote for the deadly Republican health care repeal that would kick more than 400,000 Arizonans off of their health coverage. Southern Arizona deserves better."

The news is yet another sign that the battle over Southern Arizona highly competitive Congressional District will be a hard-fought race. The DCCC announced early this week that it would launch a TV and radio campaign tagging McSally over her health care vote. In addition, House Speaker Paul Ryan's Super PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund, has set up office in Tucson to boost McSally's fortunes.

Kirkpatrick, who recently landed the endorsement of former member of Congress Gabby Giffords and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly,  is vying against fellow Democrats Matt Heinz, Mary Matiella, Bruce Wheeler and Billy Kovacs for the Democratic nomination in next year's primary.

All five Democrats are scheduled to attend a forum at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 26, at Rincon High School. I will be moderating the panel.

Staff Pick

James G. Davis (1931-2016): Down at the Tower Bar, A Retrospective

Celebrating the career of Tucson artist James G. Davis with a selection of paintings and prints made… More

@ Etherton Gallery Sat., Sept. 9, 7-10 p.m. and Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Nov. 11 135 S. Sixth Ave.

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