We welcome noted author and ethnobotanist Gary Paul Nabhan back to our pages this week with an essay about the magic of agaves ahead of the Agave Heritage Festival, now happening at Hotel Congress, Maynards, EXO Bar and other locales around Tucson. Nabhan examines the many ways agave has been used in these parts, with a focus on how Sonoran distillers have long made a unique spirit called bacanora. We're especially lucky to have photographs from Bill Steen, who is the foremost expert on bacanora operations south of the border. I met Steen last week and hope to someday join him on one of his south-of-the-border escapades to learn more about this distilling community firsthand.
Elsewhere in the book: Staff reporter Kathleen Kunz tells us what went down at the first major forum with this year's Democratic contenders for mayor; associate editor Jeff Gardner catches up with Pima Community College Chancellor Lee Lambert for a preview of PCC's future; theater writer Leigh Moyer reviews Pima Community College's production of Polaroid Stories; arts writer Margaret Regan sees what kind of work the UA's newly minted MFA artists are tackling; music contributor Eric Swedlund catches up with the Wild Reeds before their upcoming show at 191 Toole; movie reviewer Bob Grimm is disappointed by Terry Gilliam's latest; and there's plenty more, so flip through our pages and start planning your weekend.
At the risk of triggering PTSD among our readers, I have to let you know voting time has arrived. But don't worry: This ballot bonanza is not about government, but about the Old Pueblo's finest establishments. That's right! It's once again time to cast your ballot in Best of Tucson®. The ballot will be live on tucsonweekly.com/BOT starting Thursday, April 25.
Finally, we inadvertently left the winner of Best Budtender category off our Cannabis Bowl results last week. The Green Halo's Hunter Goodwin was our reader's favorite budtender. Congrats, Hunter!
See you at the Agave Fest!
Hear Nintz talk about what's happening in Tucson's entertainment scene Wednesday mornings at 9:30 a.m. during The Frank Show on KLPX, 96.1 FM. Zona Politics with Jim Nintzel airs at 4 p.m. Sunday on KXCI community radio, 91.3 FM. This week's scheduled guest is Tucson City Council member and Democratic mayoral candidate Regina Romero.