City Week

Yukking it Up for a Cause

Laughs at the Loft

5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 3

The Loft Cinema3233 E. Speedway Blvd.


When David Fitzsimmons isn't writing his column or penning an editorial cartoon for the Arizona Daily Star, he's performing stand-up comedy, something he's been doing for more than 20 years.

"It's more than a hobby; it is a vocation," Fitzsimmons said.

Fitzsimmons will be headlining at Laughs at the Loft, a fundraiser where all proceeds will benefit the Women Build program of Habitat for Humanity Tucson. Women Build is for women who want to learn construction skills so they can build homes and communities. Any woman can take part in the program and you do not need previous construction experience to join.

This will be Fitzsimmons' first time participating in the Habitat for Humanity fundraiser.

"I decided to take part in this because you never know when you might need a habitat," he said, adding that his act will feature all-new material.

Also on the bill is Elliot Glicksman, who Fitzsimmons says has also been performing comedy for more than 20 years, and Nancy Stanley.

"Nancy is pretty new at stand-up but I think she is the funniest," Fitzsimmons said.

Fitzsimmons said that if the Loft and Habitat for Humanity decide to continue the fundraiser next year, he would love to be a part of it again, "I am sucker for this cause."

Tickets are $20 and include light refreshments. There will be a no-host bar on the patio. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the show begins at 6. Seating is limited.

"We're hoping to raise a good amount of money and sell out the joint," Fitzsimmons said.


Cheesehead's Delight

The Whole Fromage: Adventures in the Delectable World of French Cheese

7 p.m., Friday, Aug. 30

Antigone Books411 N. Fourth Ave.


Tucson author Kathe Lison has always been interested in French culture. While in college, Lison majored in French and studied in Paris.

"While I was there studying I some how managed to miss all of the French cheeses. I went back years later and bought a couple of cheeses to take home to some friends and that was a wake-up call," Lison said.

On one of her trips back home, she found a guidebook with photographs of about 350 different French cheeses. It was then that she got the idea for her book, The Whole Fromage: Adventures in the Delectable World of French Cheese.

Lison got a book contract and began doing research in France, spending six weeks at a time in different parts of the country. The book recounts her travels across France and the different types of cheeses she encountered. She said the hardest part of writing the book was narrowing the number of cheeses featured. Lison's book was released in June. She started a book tour in New York and plans to end it at home with a reading at Antigone Books.

"I am thrilled to be able to do it at Antigone. I feel very strongly about independent bookstores and it is wonderful that we have one in Tucson. I am really excited to read there."

The event will include a tasting of comté and possibly one other cheese. Lison will also autograph copies of her book. Admission is free.


Rounding Up Citizens

Japanese-American Internment in Arizona

6 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 4

Himmel Park Library1035 N. Treat Ave.


After the United States entered World War II following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave the order for the relocation and incarceration of citizens of Japanese descent, and it began in March 1942.

About 120,000 Japanese-Americans were removed from their homes in Western states and forced into internment camps. Two relocation centers were in Arizona: Poston in Yuma County, and Gila River near Phoenix.

If you're unfamiliar with this dark spot in American history, you might want to check out a lecture being given by Karen K. Leon called "Japanese-American Internment in Arizona," sponsored by the Arizona Humanities Council.

"It is important to note that some Italian and German immigrant leaders of the Italian-American and German-American communities in the United States also were removed, but the removal was nowhere near the numbers of Japanese-Americans," Leon said. "People also don't realize that there was removal and incarceration of people of Japanese descent in other (countries) like Mexico and Cuba ... the United States asked Latin American nations to send people of Japanese descent to the United States to be POWs."

Leong, an associate professor in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University, also will discuss what happened to two local Japanese-Americans: Gordon Hirabayashi, who was held at a camp on Mount Lemmon, and Henry "Hank" Oyama, who was relocated with his mother and sister to the Poston center.

Leong says what she likes about giving such lectures is the dialogue that results. "What can we learn about sustaining the United States?..."

The lecture is free and all ages are welcome.


Play With Kings and Queens

9 Queens Chess Tournament

10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 31

Kirk-Bear Canyon Library8959 E. Tanque Verde Road

9 Queens is a nonprofit organization that was created to bring individuals and communities together through chess by making the game fun and accessible, with free lessons offered throughout the year.

In partnership with the Pima County Public Library, 9 Queens will host a tournament at the Kirk-Bear Canyon Library on Saturday. All ages are welcome and there will be three player skill levels: rookies, which is for beginners, and middle and open. Free pizza and bottled water will be served, and at the end of the tournament, trophies, ribbons and medals will be awarded to the top three players in each level.

Jennifer Shahade and Jean Hoffman founded 9 Queens in 2008. Hoffman stepped down this year and Vicki Lázaro became the new executive director.

Lázaro said she got involved because of her daughter. Lázaro liked that 9 Queens encouraged women and girls to play, and that it promoted critical thinking skills as well as self-confidence.

"I had a little girl that I was getting involved in chess; she's been playing since age 4. I thought it was a great program because of the benefits; it helps in math and science. It was also something that she and I could do together at any age," Lázaro said.

Lázaro has participated at previous tournaments with her family and said that all ages come to play.

"We are just looking for everyone to have a good time and enjoy the game of chess," she said.

Admission is free. Player sign-in is from 9:15 to 9:45 a.m. and the tournament begins promptly at 10.


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