Editor's Note: Eat, Drink and Be Merry—Safely

Not all of our local restaurateurs managed to survive the pandemic. Some of our favorite joints have closed down and others are getting back on their feet.

So it’s nice to see the return of Sonoran Restaurant Week, which highlights 50 of our local independent eateries. Each one has crafted a special menu, typically featuring multiple courses, so you can sample what they’re doing these days. Managing editor Jeff Gardner provides some highlights in this week’s cover story.

The usual rules apply: The pandemic isn’t over yet, so eat outside if you can, wear your mask, wash your hands and get vaccinated.

Elsewhere in the book this week: Laura Gómez of the Arizona Mirror brings us the tragic story of a 2-year-old found alive in the desert next to his deceased migrant mother; Tucson Salvage columnist Brian Smith takes us inside The Free Store, where you can find all manner of used goods at no charge; XOXO columnist Xavier Omar Otero lets you know what’s on this week’s music agenda; and we’ve got the stories about a promising new COVID treatment, our delightfully active monsoon season and all the usual stuff that keeps you flipping through our pages.

A final note: We here at Tucson Weekly are saying goodbye to yet another colleague. Christina Duran, who came aboard as a reporter in February, is headed to Boston University to pursue a master’s degree in international affairs with a specialization in international communications. Christina did a lot in her short time here, delivering regular updates on the COVID pandemic and its impact on schools, hospitals, housing and more. We’ll miss her relentless pursuit of her stories and the way she always said, “Sure, no problem,” whenever we asked her to chase down another lead. Best of luck, Christina!

Coming on board to take her place is Alexandra Pere. Alexandra bounced around the South while growing up and earned her undergrad and master’s degrees at the UA School of Journalism. She says she got interested in reporting because she “always loved talking to people and journalism allowed me to talk to a lot of different people and they had to talk back to me. I love telling their stories.”

If you’ve got a story to tell, reach out to Alexandra at apere@timespublications.com

Jim Nintzel, Executive Editor

Hear Nintz talk about fun things to do in this burg Wednesdays mornings at 9:30 a.m. during The World-Famous Frank Show on KLPX, 96.1 FM.