Monday, December 17, 2018

Three Great Things to Do in Tucson Today: Monday, Dec. 17

Posted By on Mon, Dec 17, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Holiday Planetarium Shows at Flandrau. If you're like us, the holiday season really has a way of getting you in the mood for some laser light shows. Flandrau's annual family favorite, "Season of Light" explores the many festivals of light (hello, Christmas and Hanukah!) that surround the Winter Solstice with the spirit of renewal. A chance to learn about the origin of today's Christmas customs, how the darkest days of winter have inspired people throughout history to start light festivals, and how this all connects back to astronomy will be set to holiday music and narration by Noah Adams of NPR. The new "Holiday Magic" laser light music show will leave you all singing and smiling as well. "Season of Light" shows at 2 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, 6 p.m. on Fridays, 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 3 p.m. on Sundays. "Holiday Magic" shows at 2 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday, 7 p.m. on Fridays, 3 p.m. on Saturdays and 4 p.m. on Sundays. Through Jan. 6. Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium, 1601 E. University Blvd. $16 adults, $12 kids 4 to 17/senior/military/college students. Details here. 

Facing Work. Need a break from the holiday hustle and bustle? Maybe a little bit of the excessive commercialism? If you haven't swung by the Arizona History Museum yet to check out artist Kim Nicolini's exhibit highlighting the stories and lives of the people behind cash registers yet, now's your chance. Nicolini combines creative art, living people and archival photos to tell a rarely heard story about the people who—in many ways and for many years—have shaped Tucson into exactly what it is today. There's hardly a time where those working behind store counters could use more empathy from their customers, after all. Exhibit is open through Feb. 16, 2019, at the Arizona History Museum, 949 E. Second St. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. $10 adults, $8 seniors, $5 student adults, $4 youth 7 to 17. Free for kids 6 and under, veterans and museum members. Details here.

Meadowbrook Holiday Hayrides. Are you dreaming of a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the snow this Holiday season? Well we may not have a chance of snow here in Tucson, but you can swap the sleigh for hay and enjoy the magic from a mule-drawn hay ride through the Meadowbrook subdivision. Jingle all the way while looking at holiday decorations and enjoy hot chocolate around a campfire to finish off the night. Tickets are $15 per person. Details here.

Send Us Your Photos:
If you go to any of the events listed above, snap a quick pic and message it to us for a chance to be featured on our social media sites! Find us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @tucsonweekly.

Events compiled by Tirion Morris, Emily Dieckman, B.S. Eliot and Jeff Gardner.

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Friday, December 14, 2018

Pac-12 College Football Bowl Projections: Arizona State knocks off Fresno State, Rose Bowl upset?

Posted By on Fri, Dec 14, 2018 at 3:45 PM

Welcome to the most wonderful part of the college football season, by which I mean the half-hearted consortium of exhibition games known as bowls.

This year's selection of exhibitions for the so-called 'Conference of Champions,' better known as the Pac-12 leaves much to the imagination, with no teams qualifying for the College Football Playoff.

What the conference's bowl games lack in name-brand recognition, they more than make up for in batshit crazy sponsors. Take, for instance, the 'Cheez-It Bowl,' held inside Phoenix's Chase Field; or the 'Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl,' which pits ASU and Fresno State against each other in the Sin City.

The cynics among us might ooh-pooh such a wholesome bounty of capitalism. I, on the other hand, welcome your generic brands to sponsor these wholesome exhibition games.

Before I chase too far down that rabbit hole, let me dispense my take on how each of the conference's seven bowl-eligible teams will fare in their contests.

Without further ado, here's who I expect to win the battle royale(s) that dot the college football bowl industrial complex over the next month:

Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl — Fresno State (11-2) vs. Arizona State (7-5)

1:30 p.m. Arizona time, Saturday, Dec. 15

Line: Fresno State, -6

My Pick: Arizona State wins, 28-24

Tomorrow is the official start of the bowl season, with uncle Herm and the Sun Devils taking to the cement-enclosed confines of Sam Boyd Stadium in the annual debaucherous bowl game known as the Las Vegas Bowl. Fresno State is a helluva team, with former Cal coach Jeff Tedford turning a Mountain West also-ran into a bona fide contender in two years' time. I expect the Devils to do juuust enough to eek out a victory in the Sin City, giving the Pac-12 the same number of bowl wins (1) as they achieved in nine tries last year.

Cheez-It Bowl — California (7-5) vs. Texas Christian (6-6)

7 p.m. Arizona time, Dec. 26

Line: EVEN

My Pick: TCU wins, 21-17

Hot damn, am I tempted to take Justin Wilcox and the Bears, who are in their first bowl game since a quarterback named Jared Goff singlehandedly dragged a rotting carcass of a Cal team into the 2015 Armed Forces Bowl (which they won, 55-36, over Air Force). This year's team has the offensive firepower of a cold bowl of oatmeal, but features one of the best pass defenses in the nation. I wonder whether their milquetoast offense can score enough to knock off Gary Peterson's Horned Frogs squad, so I'll give TCU the slight edge here.

Valero Alamo Bowl — Washington State (10-2) vs. Iowa State (8-4)

7 p.m. Arizona time, Dec. 28

Line: Washington State, -3.5

My Pick: Washington State wins, 45-21

I'm not one to second-guess Mike Leach and his fifth-year quarterback (and mustache aficionado) Gardner Minshew, especially considering the fact that both have had more than a month to prepare for their bowl matchup with the Cyclones. Also, while I agree that ISU coach Matt Campbell is one of the sport's brightest minds, I don't believe that his squad has the talent on both sides of the ball to contend with the well-oiled machine that is Leach's air raid offense. I expect Iowa State to hang with the Cougs' for a half, before Minshew and his host of merry receivers torch the Cyclones to pieces in the game's latter half.

Hyundai Sun Bowl — Stanford (8-4) vs. Pittsburgh (7-6)

Noon Arizona time, Dec. 31

Line: Stanford, -6.5

My Pick: Stanford wins, 31-14

I know I'm starting to sound like a Pac-12 homer with these picks, but I'm of the opinion that Pat Narduzzi's offense has the consistency and firepower of a bowl of cottage cheese, so I'll stick with Bryce Love and the Cardinal. This take assumes, of course, that Love can actually take the field, which isn't a guarantee, given his frequent ankle injury issues during the past two seasons. If Love is healthy, and QB K.J. Costello can avoid making brain-dead passes, then the Cardinal will roll past the Panthers. If not, then look out Betty, as it might be another bowl season to forget in Palo Alto.

Redbox Bowl — Oregon (8-4) vs. Michigan State (7-6)

3 p.m. Arizona time, Dec. 31

Line: Oregon, -3

My Pick: Oregon wins, 45-31

I'm not going to sit here and tell you that Mario Cristobal's Ducks squad has lived up to expectations, because they clearly haven't. That said, they do have the best quarterback west of the Mississippi, in Justin Herbert, and I'm not convinced that the Spartans can beat a pack of disease-ridden squirrels with the way their offense is faring at the moment. I expect Herbert to ride off into the (relative) sunset against MSU, feasting on the Spartans' overmatched secondary in what should be his final collegiate start for the Ducks.

Holiday Bowl — Utah (9-4) vs. Northwestern (8-5)

5 p.m. Arizona time, Dec. 31

Line: Utah, -7.5

My Pick: Utah wins, 28-10

Kyle Whittingham somehow always seems to get the best out of his Utah teams in the bowl season, going 10-1 in these glorified exhibition matchups in his coaching career. I believe that the Utes, who surged into the Pac-12 Championship Game for the first time this year, will roll past a Northwestern squad that's done exceptionally well under Pat Fitzgerald. The X-factor for the Utes is their exceptional defense, which was led by Gary Andersen all year. It'll be interesting to see how that unit fares, with Andersen returning to his previous post in Logan to coach Utah State University. Expect the Utes to stifle the Wildcats in San Diego, getting Utah back to the 10-win plateau once again.

Rose Bowl — Washington (10-3) vs. Ohio State (12-1)

5 p.m. Arizona time, Jan. 1

Line, Ohio State, -7

My Pick: Ohio State wins, 34-31

The expert's pick here is for the Buckeyes, who will be coached for one final time by Urban Meyer, to romp the Huskies. I, on the other hand, wonder whether the Buckeyes will be all that fired up to play in the Rose Bowl, after missing out on the CFP for the second-straight season. I believe OSU will win, but by less than Vegas expects, with Chris Petersen's squad rising up to give Meyer and company all they can handle in Pasadena. I believe this one will be the game of the bowl season in the Pac-12, with both squads playing their best ball of the year in what used to be the marquis matchup of the bowl calendar.

Win-Loss Expectation: I expect the Pac-12's teams to go 5-2 in the bowl season. 

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TUSD Rejects Freedom Center's High School Course

Posted By on Fri, Dec 14, 2018 at 9:56 AM

  • Courtesy of BigStock

In the end, it wasn’t even close. When the time came for the TUSD Board to discuss the Freedom Center-created textbook for the high school course, Ethics, Economy, and Entrepreneurship, not a single board member had a kind word to say about it. And since the textbook and the course are inextricably linked, the board’s consensus opinion was the course will not return to TUSD.

[A Personal Note: For this post, I'm once again donning the blogging hat I took off recently. I'll most likely return to The Range in January, though I'll be writing less frequently. Stay tuned.]

A bit of history: Ethics, Economy, and Entrepreneurship somehow managed to sneak into the TUSD curriculum in 2016 as a yearlong course which fulfilled the state's economics requirement and could also be taken for dual credit at the University of Arizona. No one at the district knows how it got there (or at least no one is saying).

The Board is supposed to approve new courses, but they were kept in the dark on this one. Most of them first learned of the course's existence when I wrote an article about it in the print edition of the Weekly in October, 2017. Since the school year had begun and students were already enrolled, the board decided to let the course stay until the end of the school year, then discontinue it. Possibly, they said, they would take a closer look at the course at a later date.

That later date was Tuesday, December 11. After the textbook was opened to the public for inspection and evaluation, and a citizens' committee was created to make a formal assessment of the book, it was time for the board to decide on the fate of the textbook and the course.

Continue reading »

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Claytoon of the Day: Nancy's Wall

Posted By on Fri, Dec 14, 2018 at 9:42 AM

Find more Claytoonz here.

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21 Great Things to Do in Tucson This Weekend: Dec. 14-16

Posted By on Fri, Dec 14, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Happy Hour Hobble at Caps & Corks. Caps & Corks is celebrating their final "Happy Hour Hobble" of the year. What does this mean? It means they're getting together to run a "fun" three miles, and then are hanging out after to get some drinks and food. If you ever feel guilty about loading up with a few too many calories at a brewery, this is the event for you. Check-in begins at 5:30, beers at 6:30. 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14. 3830 W. River Road. Details here.

Breakfast & Brunch with Desert Island Eatery and Love In A Cup. Desert Island Eatery is hosting a selection of vegan meals, plus teas created by Tiffany from Love In A Cup. Sure, it's a little difficult to cultivate a lush backyard in the Sonoran desert, so have the closest thing you can to a garden party at Desert Island Eatery. RSVP with 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16. 2513 N. Campbell Ave. Details here.

Civano December Food Truck Roundup. What a magical city and time we live in: a whole fleet of local food trucks converge for wondrous smorgasbords, and you're invited! At this round up: Fiesta Filipina, Meatball Madness, The Curry Pot, Pasha Kebab and Grill, Jackie's Food Court, Tacoqueta, Don Pedro's Peruvian Bistro, Hott Bunns and more! 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16. Civano Park, 5241 Richard Ashley Way. Details here.

Lessons & Carols by Candlelight. True Concord works hard every year to put on a holiday show that will leave you with a warm glow inside. There's going to be the glimmer of candlelight. There's going to be some of the most nostalgia-inducing Christmas tunes around. There's going to be organs and harps. And it's all going to go down in some of the prettiest churches in town. A mid-December meditative moment is probably just what you need to remember what this season is really all about. 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 14, at St. Francis in the Valley Episcopal Church, 1902, 600 S. La Canada Drive, Green Valley. 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15, at St. Philips in the Hills Episcopal Church, 4440 N. Campbell Ave. 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16, at Grace St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 2331 E. Adams St. 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16, at St. Alban's Episcopal Church, 3738 N. Old Sabino Canyon Road. $25 to $40. Details here.

Carols of Triumphant Joy! The Arizona Repertory Singers have been performing both classic and new music since 1984, and they've always made sounding great a priority: Their singers, who work as everything from lawyers to engineers to artists, all go through a rigorous audition process. At their holiday show, you'll hear brand new choral music by Thomas Juneau, as well as Jonathan Dove's "Seek him that maketh the seven stars." They'll also be delivering some seasonal faves like "Lo, how a rose e'er blooming" and "What sweeter music" by John Rutter. Let's hear it for some holiday high notes! 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, at St. Alban's Episcopal Church, 3738 N. Old Sabino Canyon Road and 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16, at Christ Church United Methodist, 655 N. Craycroft Road. $18 in advance, $20 at the door. Details here.

Messiah Symphony. If you think you don't know Handel's Messiah, you're probably at least partially wrong. Because that's where the incredibly famous Hallelujah chorus came from. And hearing this pulse-pounding masterpiece in Arizona's most outstanding acoustical venue is something everyone should experience at least once. Bruce Chamberlain conducts, Kathryn Mueller is soprano, Sarah Barber is alto, Richard Trey Smagur is tenor and Troy Cook is baritone. Last year's performance sold out, so grab your tickets fast! 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16, at Catalina Foothills High School, 4300 E. Sunrise Drive. $22 to $55. Details here.

Tucson Boys Chorus Holiday Concert. If you've seen the classic Christmas short film The Snowman, then you know there's an irresistibly Christmasy charm to the sound of a young boy's choral singing. Well, your halls are about to get seriously decked, because this concert is bringing together all of Boys Chorus choirs (Cadet, Training, TowneSingers, Touring, Young Men's Ensemble, Vail Voices, Sahuarita Singers and Northwest Voices) to all perform together. Spend a peaceful afternoon listening to some holiday classics, and maybe even tearing up a little bit. (We won't tell.) 2 and 6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16. UA Crowder Hall, 1017 N Olive Road. $20 premium seating, $15 GA, $8 for kids under 12. Details here.

Christmas in America. This touring show full of song, dance and traditional Irish tales is in its 14th year now, so if you were waiting for the run to get past that unlucky Year 13, now's your chance. Sligo fiddler Oisín Mac Diarmada is producing the show, and this year's tour features special guest singer Niamh Farrell, West Kerry singer Séamus Begley and Irish dancing by Samantha Harvey. With names like that, you know the show is authentic! Let these artists and the sounds of the fiddle, flute, uilleann pipes and harp bring you stories about some of Ireland's rich historical traditions this holiday season. 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15. Gregory School Auditorium, 3231 N. Craycroft Road. $23 to $25. Details here.

Mister Bing's Happy Holidays Supper Club. Let's take a step back to yesteryear for the evening. To a time when dinner came with a side of sophisticated cabaret entertainment. To a time when meals were so artfully composed that they were a part of the performance themselves. This night full of fine dining features vocalists Brian Lavario, Crystal Stark and Katherine Byrnes, as well as a spotlight on show club dancing and performances by magicians Norm Marina and Steve Ehlers. On the menu: a strawberry salad, a choice of tiger prawns or chicken breast, and a white velvet cake with peppermint buttercream. Cocktail dance hour at 5 p.m., dinner at 5:45 and show at 6:45. Sunday, Dec. 16. Hacienda del Sol, 5501 N Hacienda del Sol Road. $39 for show only or $99 for show and dinner (including tax & tip). Details here.

A Southwest Nutcracker. Even the most die-hard Nutcracker fans have got to admit that the ballet sure gets put on a lot. Of course, there's a reason for that: It's a fantastic ballet that people love. But it's also what makes the Tucson Regional Ballet's take on the show so refreshing. The show takes place in Tucson in the 1800s! We're talking coyotes, rattlesnakes and a full cavalry. Professionally designed sets, gorgeous costumes, live music by the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and (obviously) impressive dancing make this a show you don't want to miss. The fact that there's a character called the Prickly Pear Fairy means it's a show you really can't miss in good conscience. 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15. 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16. Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave. $26 to $38. Details here.

A Come Unity Sing. If you've never heard of The Little Chapel of All Nations, it's a delightful concept. It's a nonprofit, nonsectarian organization founded 60 years ago by a Tucson writer and feminist named Ada Peirce McCormick. It exists to give your soul a break from the craziness of everyday life, and to help you find your way to your own beliefs. At their come-unity/community sing events, all are welcome to come together and sing: old songs, new songs, some the size of your head. You don't need an instrument, any singing experience or to stay for the whole event. But if you just need a break, this might be the event for you. Come enjoy some snacks and make some light. 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15. Little Chapel of All Nations Library, 1401 E. First St. Free. Details here.

Holiday Express at the Historic Depot. There's something inexplicably Christmas-y about trains. Maybe it's because both Christmas and trains make us feel nostalgic for simpler times. Maybe it's because "There's a train here" rhymes with "There's a reindeer." Maybe it's just because of The Polar Express. Anyway, head over to the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum for their 14th annual holiday event. Take a picture with Santa, write a letter to him with more detail about exactly what you want, and sing some holiday music. Plus, an arts and crafts show, a live reading of The Polar Express, and chances to check out the museum exhibits and gift show. You can even climb into the cab of steam Locomotive 1673! 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15. Historic AMTRAK Tucson Train Depot, 400 N. Toole Ave. Free. Details here.

OV Friday FUNDays at the Children's Museum.
Sure, it's the winter season, and the holiday season. But it's also that year-round season of "the time of year where we need to find something fun to do with the kids." Luckily, the Children's Museum Oro Valley is hosting Friday morning and afternoon events with special guests through Jan. 4. This week, the UA Museum of Art Sprouts Program, a story time and art-making event, is on deck to keep little ones entertained! And stay tuned for the other Friday events, for which times vary: a holiday party, a face painting and a presentation by the Planetary Science Institute. 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14. Oro Valley Children's Museum, 11015 N. Oracle Road. $6, or free for infants younger than 1. Details here.

Mercado Holiday Bazaar. If you've been holding out on your holiday shopping because you want to get your loved ones something really, really good this year, it's time to head over to the Mercado District, where they'll have plenty of goods that are really, really good. More than 60 makers, artists and collectors will be around at this family-friendly holiday shopping event, so you'll have an array of options. And, hey, while you're there, you might just spot the perfect item to reward yourself for getting some holiday shopping done. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, and Saturday, Dec. 15. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16. Mercado District, 100 S. Avenida del Convento. Details here.


24th Annual Parade of Lights & Festival Downtown.
It's hard not to be in the holiday spirit when you spend the day buying gifts for loved ones and visiting local restaurants and museums, only to cap it off with a parade of floats, twinkly light-adorned Baile Folklorico dancers, marching mariachis and parading pups. So if you're still not in the holiday spirit by mid-December, this is just what the doctor ordered. (If you are in the holiday spirit, it is still just what the doctor ordered). Over in Jacome Plaza, there's going to be live entertainment, tons of food and even snow! Magic all around. And Pima Community College is sponsoring free Tucson Streetcar rides all day long! Festival in the plaza begins at 3 p.m. and parade beings at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15. Parade starts at the intersection of Church Avenue and Alameda Street and winds through downtown. Free. Details here.

Christmas Tree Ornaments in the Garden. One of the coolest and most underrated things about nature is that it's constantly supplying us with art. And we don't just mean the inspiration to make art, because nature is so beautiful (though that's of course true, too). We mean literally supplying us with the supplies to make art. For example, at this event at Mission Garden, you'll be making ornaments out of materials like dried devil's claw pods, okra pods and painted dipper gourds. What a perfect gift for a nature lover, and a lovely addition to any tree! 9 a.m. to noon. Saturday, Dec. 15. Mission Gardens, 946 W Mission Lane. Free. Details here.

Mariachis and Tequila.
To warm up on these winter evenings, Nana's Kitchen is pouring tequila and inviting the mariachis to play. Featuring Mi Campo tequila and giveaways! If eggnog just isn't doing it for you, this event is sure to get you festive and moving. 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15. 8225 N. Courtney Page Way. Details here.

Holiday Puppet Show: Fun Frosty & Friends. If there's anything more kid-friendly than the spirit of the whole holiday season, it's puppet shows! Dreams will come true for holiday-loving little ones when they get to see this show featuring Frosty, Santa, the Grinch, reindeers and elves. Midtown Mercantile Merchants and The Junk Society #138 are hosting this event, which will feature refreshments for the body as well as the puppet show, which many consider a type of refreshment for the soul. Call 777-7275 to reserve a spot. 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15. Midtown Mercantile Merchants, 4443 E. Speedway Blvd. Free. Details here.

Chateau Chateau. Describing themselves as a "riff-playing, synth-loving indie-pop band from Tucson, AZ," Chateau Chateau certainly hits the nail on the head. However, they do themselves the injustice of not commenting on their lyrics. Their debut single "Crisis Party" features bumping synths like bubblegum popping and the jerky guitars you'd expect out of a quirky, summertime anthem, but there is poetic depth as well. "How can it be that everyday and everything's changin' / blame it on me at last you'll see that nothin's worth savin'," sings vocalist Blake Milliser. Applause is due to the band who can get a crowd cheerfully hopping and singing along to a mental collapse.See Chateau Chateau's holiday party at Club Congress. w/ Spider Cider and Crooked Saintz. 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15. Free. 21+. Details here.

(aka Damian Higgins) has been the most technically precise drum and bass DJ for 20 years straight. Dude's a live sensation—his vinyl beat matching is peerless and he can create cinematic four deck mixes on the fly. In the rare category of DJs who own labels (Human Imprint), played the big three fests—Bassrush, Bonnaroo and EDC—and toured internationally, Higgins secured his place atop the sonic chain in EDM's evolution. His sets, often sci-fi or post-apocalyptic in theme, weave past greats in dubstep, electro and trap into mad blends that please both ravers and metalheads. (He's toured with both Moby and Disturbed!) Ably named "The Destroyer" for his soul-crushing breaks, Higgins aims for sonic mind-fuck of "heaven crashing into hell." Intelligent and self-aware, his intro to "Wake the Dead" is a thinly veiled reference to death of the art of DJing. So meta! Friday, Dec. 14, 191 Toole. Doors at 10 p.m. $12. Details here.

Decker channels his surroundings into music. This psych folk singer-songwriter from Sedona, Decker has tripped the mystic fantastic through red rock country, unironically opening his heart to the cycle of life—from the death of his beloved grandmother to the birth of his son, on his brand new album, Born to Wake Up. From the invocation to the outro, Decker orchestrates a John Cage-like symphony of chirping, howling, and native chant that forms a desert wall of sound to underscore his plainspoken, Tom Petty-inspired melodies. And it works! Tackling topics like Eden without pretension, Decker muses, "I like it better when you still pretended you were whole." His clang-jangle guitars insert meditative breaks between verses and recall The Church. "Burnin Grass" sends up anyone seeking answers in nature, while the innocently inspired title tune is gentle list song for his newborn, "You were born to move mountains/You were born to save." With Tucson's mighty Carlos Arzate & the Kind Souls, and Keli Carpenter. Friday, Dec.14, Club Congress, 311 East Congress St., $5. 21+. Details here.

Fill the Streetcar With Toys.
Ramon's Miracle on 31st Street, the local grassroots charity that provides holiday kindness and cheer to disadvantaged children in the Tucson area, has its 48th annual Christmas celebration coming up. They're expecting more than 15,000 children to attend the celebration, and the idea is for them each to leave with a new toy in hand. The Regional Transportation Authority is trying to collect 1,200 toys, filling the streetcar up with tokens of goodwill. You're probably out Christmas shopping anyway, so, while you're at it, just bring a new, unwrapped toy over to the streetcar, just west of Fourth Avenue on Eighth Street downtown. The easy curbside drop-off is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 14, but you can also stick around to see Santa, performances by local school music groups and a life-size pink Barbie jeep.

Send Us Your Photos:
If you go to any of the events listed above, snap a quick pic and message it to us for a chance to be featured on our social media sites! Find us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @tucsonweekly.

Events compiled by Tirion Morris, Emily Dieckman, B.S. Eliot and Jeff Gardner.

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Laughing Stock: Brewing Ha-Ha

Posted By on Thu, Dec 13, 2018 at 3:58 PM

Pauly Casillas headlines the celebration of Brew Ha-Ha’s third anniversary at Borderlands Brewery on Monday, Dec. 17. - BREW HA-HA COMEDY SHOWCASE AT BORDERLANDS ON FACEBOOK
  • Brew Ha-Ha Comedy Showcase at Borderlands on Facebook
  • Pauly Casillas headlines the celebration of Brew Ha-Ha’s third anniversary at Borderlands Brewery on Monday, Dec. 17.
Tucson’s longest-running
alternative stand-up comedy show celebrates its third anniversary this month.

On Dec. 17, from 8 to 10 p.m., Brew Ha-Ha marks three years of third-Monday showcases at Borderlands Brewery.

The shows feature emerging and professional Tucson comedians and regional or national touring comedians with open dates on their travel schedules.

The lineup for the anniversary show includes three of the Tucson comedy scene’s favorite Phoenix-area comics, Adam Bathe, Mike Enders and Leslie Barton, plus nationally known Tucson comedians Kristine Levine and, as headliner, Pauly Casillas.

Popular local Matt Ziemak originated the Brew Ha-Ha concept with Borderlands co-owner Mike Mallozzi.

“A lot of comedians in our scene were growing and getting better but had no place to really show it,” says Ziemak, “so we wanted to give our friends a place to get even better. When we brought Brew Ha-Ha to Borderlands, Mike was right on board with helping local scenes any way possible.”

Luckily, Mallozzi is a patient business owner. Asked what factors contributed to Brew Ha-Ha’s durability, he says it takes time for any ongoing show to gain traction. “My view on all recurring events is that you must really believe in them, and in the case of monthly events, give them the better part of a year.”

The patience paid off. “The show always got a good response,” says Ziemak, “but it seems like over the last year and a half, it has gained an audience of its own. Having familiar faces in the crowd each show is an amazing feeling. These people come out to see comics they might not know by name because they’ve been to our shows before.”

Over the past year comedian Rory Monserrat has partnered with Ziemak in producing and hosting the show. “I think consistency is the most important thing,” Monserrat says. “We make a show we want to see. I went to every Brew Ha-Ha because they were already the best independent shows in Tucson. A compliment that really stuck with me came from one of our Tucson colleagues when she said ‘This is a show by people who just really love stand-up comedy.’”

Like Brew Ha-Ha Comedy Showcase at Borderlands on Facebook for monthly updates. 

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Tucson Salvage Documentary Wins Best Documentary Short at Culver City Film Fest

Posted By on Thu, Dec 13, 2018 at 2:52 PM


Congratulations to Maggie and Brian Smith for their win at the 2018 Culver City Film Festival!

Their entry, a documentary on five stories from Brian’s award-winning Tucson Weekly column “Tucson Salvage” won the grand prize for Best Documentary Short.

Maggie directed the Tucson Salvage documentary in conjunction with the release of Tucson Salvage: Tales and Recollections from La Frontera, a new book of collected articles from Brian’s column.

"I always loved Brain's really strong sense of place and his portrayal of characters, and those are also two crucial aspects in filmmaking," Maggie said. "I think there's something very powerful about having these marginalized voices tell their own stories."

View the trailer for the Tucson Salvage documentary here:

Tucson Salvage: The Trailer from Tucson Salvage on Vimeo.

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Three Great Things to Do in Tucson Today: Thursday, Dec. 13

Posted By on Thu, Dec 13, 2018 at 1:00 AM


The Very Merry Holiday Sing-A-long Spectacular. Get your holiday spirit in high gear at the Loft Cinema with a sing-along series including clips from movies, T.V. shows and music videos. When else will you get the chance to sing with Lady Gaga, Michael Bublé, Nat King Cole, ’NSYNC, Kelly Clarkson, Frank Sinatra, Elvis, The Grinch and more? Admission includes a “Very Merry Goodie Bag” filled with props, and if you bring a new unwrapped toy for donating to Casa de los Niños, you will receive half-off admission. 7:30 to 9:45 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13. 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. $12 GA, $10 for members and children under 10. Details here.

Reel Tucson Christmas. The Screening Room and Strada Company are teaming up to host a local short film festival, and it’s holiday themed! The evening is only five dollars, and for those daring, it’s free to enter your film. And to the joy of Tucson filmmakers who’ve submitted their pieces to other local short film festivals, this one is “gong free.” Send films to 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13. 127 E. Congress St. $5. Details here.

Holiday Ride to Winterhaven. If you are looking to burn off a few holiday cookies or just love riding your bike, join this group of cyclists on their ride to Winterhaven. Parking can be a Nightmare before Christmas so avoid the holiday hassle and take two wheels! Tugo Bike Share along with Living Street Alliance is hosting the ride which will start at 5:30 p.m. at Time Market. Riders will then bike four miles to Danny's Baboquivari Lounge where they can park and indulge in a holiday beverage to keep themselves warm. From there, riders can walk through the winter wonderland of lights better known in these parts as Winterhaven. The event is free, although Winterhaven organizers ask that you bring a non-perishable food item for the Community Food Bank. Details here.

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If you go to any of the events listed above, snap a quick pic and message it to us for a chance to be featured on our social media sites! Find us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @tucsonweekly.

Events compiled by Brianna Lewis, Emily Dieckman, B.S. Eliot and Jeff Gardner.

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