Arts, Big and Small

Arts, Big and Small

We’ve got a lot of arts in this week’s issue, including Tucson Salvage columnist Brian Smith’s profile of Mario Patino, who creates astonishing miniatures from his memories of growing up on Tucson’s south side.


Police Dispatch

A man might’ve gotten away with petty shoplifting some candy had he not randomly shouted that he was guilty of much worse and then treating a cop like a Lyft driver, according to a Pima County Sheriff’s Department report.

Combining Forces

Nearly a decade after he joined the military, 30-year-old Daniel died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, down the street from his home in Phoenix. His carefully written suicide note detailed the exact reasons why he decided to take his own life. He expressed remorse over the lives he took in combat, frustration with the Department of Veterans Affairs that failed him in his time of need, and questioned the lack of federal action on a widespread issue that causes 22 veterans on average to die by suicide every day.

Stewards of the written word

Sun Sounds of Arizona is a radio station that provides audio access to print information, such as newspapers and short stories, to people who cannot read or hold print material due to a disability. This service is available via three affiliate stations in Tucson, Tempe and Flagstaff, and covers a wide range of content for a wide range of listeners.

The Skinny

As the U.S. House moves forward with its investigation into the Ukraine matter, the political stakes are high for many of Arizona’s congressional delegation.


Tom reveals his ideas of romance, and it involves Blazing Saddles and Pizza Hut.

Tucson Salvage

A profile of Mario Patino, who creates astonishing miniatures from his memories of growing up on Tucson’s south side.

Market Forces

Analytical data from the cannabis industry shows yearly consumption of medicinal marijuana to be in excess of 122,000 pounds involving 204,000 qualified patients as of mid-year.

Silver Screen Spectacular

If you like movies—I mean, if you really like movies—then you might as well request a few days off from work for the Loft Film Fest.

Police Dispatch

A man wearing pants on his head purposefully unzipped the ones on his bottom half and nearly exposed himself to a school bus full of kids, according to a Pima County Sheriff’s Department report.

At the Finish Line

With less than a week before the Nov. 5 Election Day, it looks like the contest for an open Ward 1 City Council seat is Democrat Lane Santa Cruz’s race to lose.


Now that the temperature is finally in the 70s, we Tucsonans are undergoing the Transition. All it takes is three consecutive days where the daytime highs are in the 70s and the nights are cool and crisp and we forget all about how hot and nasty the preceding six months were (although this past May was delightfully cool).

Screen Savors

For its tenth anniversary, the Loft Film Fest is bringing Tucsonans films from Hungary, Sweden, Guatemala, South Korea and more. As with previous Loft Film Fests, this year’s event does not stick to a core theme, but rather celebrates all forms of film, from classic to cutting-edge, and even some that push the boundaries of what is considered film at all. 


Loft Cinema Executive Director Peggy Johnson says that film festivals “give you a sense of the world.” “Film is such a dynamic medium,” Johnson says. “It’s now so easy for people to make films; you don’t need a big budget or big camera. So you get films like The Cave, one of our fest documentaries, about a woman doctor in Syria treating war victims in a cave. A film festival broadens your worldview.”

Growth Industry

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized production of industrial hemp and some early birds were waiting to jump on that opportunity.

Our Best To You

Here we are again, with our most anticipated issue of the year: Best of Tucson® 2019.

Police Dispatch

When a Walmart employee got in his way of stealing an almost unbelievable amount of Coca-Cola soda pop, a man was willing to defend his brand-name booty with a weapon (well, kind of), stated an Oro Valley Police Department report.

East Side Story

As he campaigns for reelection in Tucson’s eastside Ward 2, City Councilmember Paul Cunningham says he’s proud of his accomplishments during his nine years on the council.

Urban Renewal

The first event at this year’s TENWEST Impact Festival set the stage for a week of innovation and inspiration, just as it should. The so-called Mayor’s Symposium, facilitated by Tucson’s own Jonathan Rothschild, gathered three former mayors from across the country to talk about the successes and struggles during their tenure

Cactus Conundrum

Almost 20 years ago, the Town of Marana leased 2,400 acres of pristine desert from the Arizona State Land Department. Marana’s lease on the preserve expires in 2099, and payments are set to increase every five years by 10 percent or the Consumer Price Index, whichever is higher.


If Tucson Weekly did Best of back in 1973, here's how Tom thinks it might have looked.

It’s time for Tucson’s mayor and council to get a raise

Each one of us is part-owner of this large and important business venture that is the City of Tucson. And it is time for us to offer decent salaries to our seven most important employees: the mayor and members of the city council.

Yes We Cannabis

One of the most unique weed companies in town doesn’t sell weed at all. The People’s Weed Company is a local startup that focuses on teaching the average person how to cook edibles in a way that most efficiently gathers the health benefits of marijuana.

The Skinny

Mayoral and City Council candidates show us the money—and the news is not good for Republicans.

Welcome to the World, Ricky Rose!

Huge congratulations are due to Brian Smith and his wife, Maggie Rawling Smith, for the birth of their first daughter. Little Ricky Rose is happy, healthy and quite hungry, to hear Brian’s side of it.

Police Dispatch

Soon after 5 p.m., a young male student was found already super wasted on wine in a University of Arizona library—and was very lucky to escape jail (though he might’ve preferred it to being picked up by his father), according to a UA Police Department report.

Classroom Inclusion

After a long and fulfilling career in public education, Cecelia Padilla was recently surprised with the Esperanza award. Provided by local Latino advocacy group Chicanos Por La Causa, the award is given to four outstanding teachers in Arizona each year. Winners receive a $5,000 cash prize and a $2,500 stipend is given to their school.

Harmony and Twang

We dig into Tucson music history to tell the story of LaVerne Davis Lawrence, a child country-western star back in the 1950s.

Seeds of Conflict

After a 2016 ballot initiative went down to defeat, supporters of the Smart and Safe Arizona Act have returned with a new plan for voters to consider on the 2020 effort.


This week Tom is offering this little quiz to help tear your beleaguered brain away from the cable-news onslaught.

Untold Stories of Domestic Abuse Survivors in Pima County

Challenging our assumptions about domestic abuse survivors and their experiences can create a community of support and safety

Beverly’s Story

The piece below, written by Beverly Gooden, was originally published by the Today Show in 2014. Gooden is the creator of the #whyistayed movement, which began after the “why doesn’t she leave” question was repeatedly asked of Janay Rice, after a video surfaced of her husband, Ray Rice (formerly of the Baltimore Ravens), physically assaulting Janay.

No Time to Say Goodbye

Mark Flanigan recounts the experience of supporting his dear friend Mitsu who died by suicide one day after disclosing to him that she was in an abusive relationship.

Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls

Written by April Ignacio, a citizen of the Tohono O’odham Nation and the founder of Indivisible Tohono, a grassroots community organization that provides opportunities for civic engagement and education beyond voting for members of the Tohono O’odham Nation. She is a fierce advocate for women, a mother of five and an artist.

Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse

Learn more about Emerge's mission.

Folk Yeah!

This week, we feature the latest book from Big Jim Griffith, the famed local folklorist and founder of Tucson Meet Yourself, as well as preview Meet Yourself which takes place this weekend.

Police Dispatch

Some guys in an SUV got away with reeking of weed—and even having a small amount of it in the car—maybe because they didn’t fail to amuse the cops who pulled them over (at least a little), according to an Oro Valley Police Department report.

Raising the Deep End

There have been several drownings in the DoubleTree Hotel's pool. Pima County Health Department said discussions are currently taking place about adopting the CDC’s Model Aquatic Health Code.

Three’s Company

With Democrat Shirley Scott giving up her City Council seat after six terms, three candidates are vying to replace her in southeast side Ward 4.

The Skinny

Could Sen. Martha McSally have picked a worse week to stand right next to Vice President Mike Pence as she works to win over the voters who rejected her just a year ago?


Dear guy on the far side of the political chasm: Things are getting out of hand, but I sincerely believe that you and I—two diametrically opposite people, politically—can do something about it.

Cultural As Folk

Big Jim Griffith, the famed folklorist who has made a career of studying the unique blend of cultures in Baja Arizona and Sonora. At 84, he has just published his ninth book, Saints, Statues and Stories: A Folklorist Looks at the Religious Art of Sonora, gleaned from years of travel in the Mexican state that is Arizona’s neighbor.

Bite-Sized Culture

October in Tucson means it’s time for one of the most beloved—not to mention tasty—events of the year: the Tucson Meet Yourself Folklife Festival. Every year, Tucson Meet Yourself focuses on bringing the community together through folklife traditions, such as cultural dances, art, music and food.

Living Legends

For our final introductory story, we move to the town of Aconchi on the Río Sonora, where the mission church once contained a life-sized crucifix with a black corpus, known both as Nuestro Señor de Esquipulas (Our Lord of Esquipulas, a Guatemalan devotion) and El Cristo Negro de Aconchi (The Black Christ of Aconchi; Griffith 1995, 87–108).

Crop Up

Once referred to as “the Devil’s lettuce,” farmers are lining up to grow hemp in eye-popping numbers, with a 550 percent leap in growing acreage in 2019 as 34 states have already licensed cultivation of a cannabis byproduct industry that is still in its infancy.

Pink of Health

This week, Tucson Local Media is celebrating earning 29 awards from the Arizona Newspapers Association’s annual competition. We also have a special cover section this week dedicated to the battle against breast cancer.

Tucson Fest

For 2019, TENWEST is being described as an “Impact Festival,” as opposed to an “Innovation Festival” as in previous years. While the 2018 festival sought to expand beyond business and into arts and education, the 2019 festival is more than an expansion. It’s nearly a reinvention.

Police Dispatch

A woman found reeking of weed and passed out behind the wheel of a running car was probably high on more than marijuana, according to a Marana Police Department Report.

Gourd Willing

Matt Harper’s pumpkin carving exploits caught the attention of the Food Network, which put him on a team of Halloween decorators who are competing in this year’s Halloween Wars.


Tom remembers when Smokey Robinson's music was the soundtrack to the parties of his youth.

Shameless Self Promotion

Under the leadership of publisher Jason Joseph and executive editor Jim Nintzel, Tucson Weekly and the Tucson Local Media family of publications brought home 29 awards in this year’s Arizona Newspapers Association’s Better Newspaper Contest and Excellence in Advertising competition, including 10 first-place awards.

Cannabis on Campus

No journey gets underway until the proverbial first step is taken and that happened last week in a cannabis symposium on the University of Arizona campus. Yes, a full day of discussion on the world’s oldest pharmacopeia that dates back to 2,700 BC, but today is still classified as a Schedule I drug by the feds.

Facing Cancer Without Insurance

The road to a cancer diagnosis and through cancer treatment is often something like being in a pinball machine moving in slow motion. Without insurance, there’s the added obstacle of figuring out how to pay for all of this.

A Guiding Hand

Through their Reach to Recovery program, ACS recruits breast cancer survivors across the country to work as volunteers. Based on information about their diagnosis, treatments and other characteristics, the volunteers are matched with current breast cancer patients, whom they schedule meetings with to discuss the patients’ issues and provide support from a person who has experienced it.

Capes of strength

A new exhibition at the Ventana Gallery at Roche Tissue Diagnostics is turning medical equipment into empowerment for local cancer patients.

Big Strides

Today, there are 3.5 million breast cancer survivors alive in the United States. Due to an increase in awareness, prevention methods, mammograms and free screenings, more women are surviving breast cancer than ever before!

Events for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Here are several events this month in honor of breast cancer awareness.


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