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Welcome to Pets and the City 2021 A Salute to Our Best Friends
ION JUST JACK
ver the past year many of us were locked up, unemployed, lonely, sad with no end in sight. One thing that helped many of us keep our sanity (other than countless bottles of Bud Light & Tito’s Handmade Vodka) was our pets. Unlike the people, friends, and family we couldn’t see, our pets were right there with us to give us companionship, love and help us with isolation. They never complain, they don’t judge you for drinking too much or sleeping in. In fact, they loved that you were home more. So this issue is dedicated to our best friends. This year’s issue of our tenth annual “Pets and the City” feature is sponsored by Lugari Pet Salon in Scottsdale. Owner Ivan Lugo, on the cover, has years of training and experience, and his upscale salon has been in business for four years. Ivan enters his own champion Chihuahuas in competitions, just like Best in Show, (one of my favorite movies). His boutique pet salon specializes in pampering your pooch, offering a variety of creative and unique grooming options including color, mani-pedis, and doggie day care. Lugari’s also offers special seminars for you moms and dads! Check out the Ivan’s story and ION sponsor’s Lugari Pet Salon’s special feature on page 36. Our advertisers (and you!) are the backbone of ION Arizona. One of the reasons for ION’s past success is the support of our local bars and clubs. Things are opening, and we urge you to safely patronize them. In the coming months, we will be bringing back some of your favorite features like ION Drag, the centerfold calendar highlighting special daily events, and the popular hydratION drink special guide. Please get vaccinated if you haven’t been already. Continue to wear masks, wash your hands and social distance. There will be a day soon where we can say adios, arrivederci, au revoir, auf wiedersehen, sayōnara, goodbye to COVID and hello to freedom!
Jack M. Tesorero Furry Friend Fan
The Showroom at C7 Clean out the cobwebs! Light the lights! Put on a record, because Cruisin’ 7th is opening up the showroom! We’ll see you on at 9:30 on Fridays for The Gig with Fantasia Saxton, and on Saturdays with Robin Banks. Just a small $5 cover at the door, or reservations can be made by calling the bar at 602212-9888. 3702 N. 7th St.
SAAF Out Brunch This annual award gala will honor three exceptional leaders who meet the needs of the LGBTQ+ community in Southern Arizona. This year there’s a twist: the event will be staged after dark at a drive-in theatre to ensure social distancing. Saturday, April 17 at El Toro Flicks Downtown, 131 S. El Linda Ave. in Tucson. For more info and tickets visit SAAF.org
Cinco de Mayo Celebrate this beloved holiday that America stole from Mexico commemorating something about a battle and stuff. We don’t care. Now it’s mostly about drinking. And tacos. That’s the important thing! Check out Charlie’s and Karamba because you know they’ll be celebrating! Now open full capacity! (Drink responsibly, please!)
Bartlett Bash An Arizona tradition since 1990 … well, except for that pesky pandemic incident ruining last year. Things are calming down and Bartlett Bash is back and promises another weekend of fun and hijinx galore. Oh, boy! Pack up your camper or bring a tent and a swimsuit. And sunscreen. It all happens May 14-16. For more info search for “Bartlett Bash” on Facebook or visit BartlettLakeBash.com 10
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Nobody should have to choose between feeding themselves or their pet friend. Joshua Tree Pet Assistance Project helps clients living with HIV/AIDS feed their pet friends, and with veterinary expenses. For twelve years ION has helped raise money with “Pets in the City.” Our featured readers we photographed for this annual feature donated generously. You can, too. Please scan the QR code and donate today. Photography by: Rafalogie Studios Creative Direction by: Alex Campos Pictured: Ivan Lugo of Lugari’s Pet Salon, and his Chihuahuas Rocco & Hera APR/MAY 2021
Tiffany Ros & Iris 24
Joel Torres & Duchess APR/MAY 2021
Austin Prutch, Miley, & Milo 26
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Jason Adams, Roxie, & Russell APR/MAY 2021
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Jeremy & Geno Johns
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What Up, Dogs?
Ivan Lugo and Lugari’s Pet Salon pampers your pooch. 36
rom Airedales to Zuchons and every pooch in between, Ivan Lugo and his staff at Lugari Pet Salon are sorcerers with scissors when it comes to the Valley’s dogs. (And even a few cats, too.) US pet owners spent more than $6 billion on grooming services in 2020. Ivan and the groomers at Lugari Pet Salon are dedicated to making every dog look like a million dollars. At least. “Ever since I’ve been grooming I wanted to treat dogs the way I would want my dogs to be treated,” Ivan said. “I want everyone who comes in to my shop to have the VIP experience for their dogs, no matter how much money they have. I’m very proud of our VIP concept. That’s the difference between Lugari Pet Salon and other groomers,” he expanded. Not surprisingly, Lugari’s typically gets five star ratings on Yelp and Google. You can also book a Doggy Birthday Party or special celebration, In addition to Spanish and English, Ivan speaks Dog fluently, too. He began his career as a dog groomer in 1998 in his hometown, Mexico City, training with experts. Ivan traveled with his mentors to Venezuela, Panama, and Cuba, showing dogs, coming to the United States in February, 1999 where he honed his skills. The “Lugari Style” for dogs is his trademark now. How did Ivan Lugo get to where he is today? A specific turning point shaped his future. Ivan is a survivor of domestic violence. This helped made him into the person he is today. “In 2015 I escaped the living situation I was in,” Ivan related. “All I had were the clothes on my back. I went from a life in the Biltmore to living in a Motel 6.” Everything changed. “After that, I created this business from scratch.” Lugari Pet Salon opened on August 16, 2017, coincidentally Madonna’s APR/MAY 2021
birthday—and Ivan’s favorite star. So Ivan took a page from Madge’s career book and reinvented himself. “After my traumatic experiences, my work became very therapeutic for me; I hope that I’m able to inspire others with my experience,” Ivan said. Ivan’s expertise has made him a sought after groomer across the Valley for mutts and purebreds alike. Crystal Catrogiovanni has entrusted her champion King Charles Cavalier Spaniels show dogs, Harry and Dish, to Ivan for seven years. “There’s no way I would have anyone else groom them,” she vouched. “It’s not just his ability, I also know the dog is safe. They’re always happy to see Ivan.” Crystal expanded, “He’s very hands-on. Ivan has a passion for life; he’s good at everything. And if you know Ivan, you know he loves his selfies—and he’s really good at those, too,” she laughed. “It’s just reality. The best times I’ve ever had have been with Ivan. He’s very positive. He’s so kind. He’s truly exceptional—he’s never complacent. If you don’t fully know Ivan, you can’t fully appreciate what he’s doing,” Crystal said. Brian Whitley is another devoted client and friend. Sophia and Skylar, his Cocker Spaniels, won’t go anywhere else. “Lugari’s is a small, intimate boutique. You can see everything that’s going on. Ivan is an expert. It’s not just a job, Ivan has passion; I like people who are passionate. What he does is an art form.”
male Chihuahua in the United States in 2011, and claiming a total of six “Best of Show” awards, nosing out 3,000 other pooches. This is remarkable because usually Chihuahua’s don’t win. He’s also been invited to the Westminster Dog Show in New York City. They only choose five dogs in each breed to compete. Good news! Hera is Rocco’s new wife from Korea, and the happy couple is expecting a litter of champions soon.
Lugari’s also specializes in the “Japanese style” which doesn’t follow the rules of traditional, breed-standard grooming, instead it focuses on bringing out dogs’ individual personalities making them look as adorable as possible. Lugari’s staff attend classes from expert groomers for lessons. Calling all cats! You can get your kitty clipped at Lugari’s on Sundays by special appointment.
Springtime means it’s time for a “Prom-eranian.” Need a dress for your Daschund? A frock for your Frenchie? Ivan designs custom apparel for doggie damsels, too. For the past seven years he’s been the “Canine Couture” event coordinator staging a sold out fashion show for dogs at the Stella Artois Scottsdale Polo Classic at WestWorld of Scottsdale in November. Benefiting the Arizona Humane Society, about 50 dogs sashay down the fashionable “dogwalk” annually.
Ivan has two Chihuahuas. Rocco was the American Kennel Club’s number one
Lugari’s carries Tanaq-usa, colorful handmade collars and leashes from
Colombia. Ivan created his own line of scented candles, hand poured by local artisans. Lugari’s hosts grooming workshops, training seminars, and classes on pet CPR, First Aid and Care so their humans can learn more, too. There must be a thousand Ivans. He’s always among the best dressed men at galas and events in addition to hosting events for the Hispanic and Latino community including fashion shows. He also hosts a show called “Rojo Radio” available live on Facebook as well as Spotify, YouTube and TuneIn every Tuesday from 7-8 p.m. with guests from Colombia, Brazil and Mexico. “We talk about food, traditions and our best memories,” Ivan said. People (and dogs) love Ivan and Lugari’s Pet Salon. Crystal Catrogiovanni said it best: “Ivan has your heart on four-legs in his hands.”
LugariPet.net 7901 E. Thomas Rd. at Hayden Rd. in Scottsdale
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genera+ions If you related to Beverly Hills 90210 (I’m talkin’ the OG), this will blow your mind. These edgy SoCal high school teens explore bisexuality, genderqueer identity, Grindr hookups, masturbation, giving birth in a mall bathroom, the usual complicated teen angst, drama, plus complicated dynamics with parents and more in this brilliant dramedy series. fJustice Smith shines as the brash “Chester.” Without the Peach Pit, virginal Donna Martin wouldn’t last a day here.
The Real World: San Francisco MTV inaugurated the Godfather of all reality shows with seven strangers … you know the rest. 1994’s season 3 got really real, keeping America glued to the TV when Pedro Zamora’s AIDS diagnosis brought a face to those living with the disease. Reality TV at its finest. How far we’ve come! Watch the classic 20 episodes available once again on this new streaming platform.
Otherly Streaming and visual storytelling is evolving. Here’s a novel idea: POV Spark, the interactive arm of the PBS series POV launches this boundary pushing “vertical storytelling” series via Instagram Stories. Women, non-binary and genderqueer creators share their stories in a series of seven short creative digidocumentaries about finding your own place using universal themes like love, inclusion and loss as entry points. Weekly releases through April 15.
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DJ Nick Stracener Beats His Blues
By: Connor Davenport Photos by: Jay Fuertez APR/MAY 2021
ick Stracener views dance music as therapy and a way to escape life’s hurdles. It’s why he was particularly drawn to remix Lindsay Lohan’s “Back to Me,” a song about shutting out negative energy and rediscovering self, and Lady Gaga’s “Fun Tonight,” a song Gaga wrote about the dissolution of her relationship and how her mental health and experiences with fame also affected her love life. It’s a relatable message to Nick whose social media notoriety often invites criticism. He uses his platform, nearly 200K strong, to show off his bodily accomplishments and release heavy matters weighing on his mind, most significantly, his own mental health. “People with mental illness come in all shapes, sizes, and colors and I want to reach others who may be going through similar struggles,” he said. “You never really know what someone’s going through in their personal life or what’s going on in their head. Severe depression and anxiety are hidden diseases, and I’ve found the best way to fight it is to get it out in the open. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
concentrating on creating virtual sets and remixes of popular songs. It helps to keep my name out there. What are you doing to help you cope? NS: I try to be as optimistic as possible, appreciating the fact that I have had more time to focus on creating music and working on myself, internally and mentally, but I have to admit I was struggling for a while and still am. Spending time with close friends has been helpful. Also, my music, and maybe a little bit of comfort food. I certainly turned to food after the break-up of my engagement. Sometimes people just grow apart and it’s better to go in separate directions. Things weren’t working so it was better to split. I don’t think the outcome would have been any different if COVID hadn’t happened. What is the biggest lesson you learned from your relationship? NS: I’ve learned to always follow my heart. I don’t regret anything about our time together because it was a learning experience that helped me to get one step closer to the man I am with today. I learned the qualities that I needed in a partner in order for it to work. I also learned more about myself and the things I needed to improve to become the best person that I can possibly be.
“When will I finally be able to have a live gig, safely, again?”
We’ve been living in uncertain times. What impact has this had on you and your work? What’s the biggest thing weighing on your mind right now? Nick Stracener: It would have to be “When will I finally be able to have a live gig, safely, again?” I think I finally see a light at the end of this long tunnel. Right before COVID struck I was on quite an upward climb. The bookings were rolling in from all over the USA and Canada as well as international festivals. I was really looking forward to getting out there and showing people what I can do. Since I haven’t been able to play live, I’ve been
What new mixes are you working on? NS: I recently released my remix of Ray Azuma’s “The Best” featuring Timi Kullai. It was an incredible honor to be on the remix package with Dan Slater, Dani Brasil and all of the other amazing producers. Do you eventually hope to make original music? NS: That’s the goal, yes. It’s a work in progress. I will have an original song APR/MAY 2021
produced this year. I have a lot of ideas. I really want to find a vocalist who I can connect with as friends and make beautiful music together. How will you spend the rest of today? NS: I could use a nice scrub bath, but let’s be real, I’ll probably eat! I have Uber Eats on speed dial.
Nick’s remix of Ray Azuma’s “The Best” is available on Spotify. Follow Nick on Instagram @thenickstracener 48
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Friendly bars, clubs & restaurants: PHOENIX METRO
2424 E. Thomas Rd.
2. Bar 1
3702 N. 16th St.
901 N. 4th St.
4. Breakfast Bitch
eatbreakfastbitch.com 222 E Portland St.
5. Boycott Bar
4301 N 7th Ave.
6. BS West
7125 E. 5th Ave., Scottsdale (480) 945-9028
bunkhousesaloonphx 4428 N 7th Ave.
8. The Cash
1730 E McDowell Rd.
727 W. Camelback Rd.
10. Cruisn’ 7th
3702 N. 7th St.
11. Dick’s Cabaret
3432 E. Illini Rd.
105 W. Portland St
13. Flex Spas
1517 S. Black Canyon Hwy. (602) 271-9011
5114 N 7th St
15. Industry Bar
607 W Osborn Rd.
karambanightclub.com 1724 E. McDowell Rd.
17. King Pin Bar/Rest
kobaltbarphoenix.com Park Central Mall
19. The Melting Pot
3626 E Ray Rd.
20. The Melting Pot
19420 N 59th Ave. B113
21. Mi Patio
3347 N 7th Ave.
20. NuTowne Saloon
5002 E Van Buren St.
21. OZ Bar
1804 W. Bethany Home Rd. (602) 242-5114
8925 N 12th St.
1560 E Osborn Rd.
23. Rewined Bar
3308 N 24th St.
24. The Rock
4129 N 7th Ave
25. Stacy’s @ Melrose
4343 N 7th Ave.
26. Thunderbird Lnge
thunderbirdloungephx 710 W Montecito Ave.
27. Wok n Roll - Phx
2801 N Central Ave.
28. Wok n Roll - Scott
4412 N Miller Rd.
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Anvil Bar 1 Bliss/ReBar Boycott Bar BS West Bunkhouse 16 The Cash Charlie’s Cruisn’ 7th Dick’s Cabaret FEZ Flex Spas Industry Bar Karamba Kobalt NuTowne Saloon OZ Bar Plazma The Rock Stacy’s @ Melrose
Stacy’s @ Dunlap 52 Thunderbird Lounge 42 NEW! Rewined Beer & Wine Bar 42 Sazerak McKenzies Midtown Tavern
Tru Burger (Phoenix location) Centrico (Modern Mexican) Hula’s Modern Tiki Oven & Vine Mary Coyle’s Ice Cream Screaming Banshee
Phoenix Gay Men’s Chorus Canyon Echos Omaggio Youth Chorus Phoenix Women’s Chorus Film Bar (downtown PHX) 13 Desperado Film Festival Arizona Broadway Theatre Valley Youth Theatre Arizona Opera Theatre Arizona Theatre Company Herberger Theatre Orpheum Theatre Phoenix Theatre AK Chin Pavilion Arizona Federal Theatre Marque Theatre Talking Stick Arena CB Live (Desert Ridge) Rick Branson’s House Comedy Exposed Gallery Let it Roll Bowling 52 Big Surf Waterpark
The Melting Pot (Fondue) 17 The Stir 50 Mi Patio (Mexican) 6 Wok ‘N Roll (Scottsdale) 6 Bliss/ReBar FEZ King Pin Bar & Lounge 48 Breakfast Bitch (Cambria Hotel) 3 Pizza People Pub
Bill Luke Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep U Park We Sell (Mesa) Scottsdale Bike Company Community Tire (6 locations) Compu-Tech Automotive Jackson Car Wash Daryl’s Detail on Wheels Fenders and Friends Car Club Cactus 4 Wheelers Lambda Car Club All State Ins. - Edward Vasquez State Farm Ins. Mary Contreras
Mattress 360 54 Arizona Matress Overstock Allegiance Water Services Mustang Air Mechanical 63 Studio Art Framing A/C Experts Design Labs Custom Kitchens Oasis Valley Group (Chris Tong) 37 Lance Rampy Realtor 52 Dominick Mangano Realtor 52 AZ Real Estate - John & Jared S & T Plaza The Curve Apts. (Melrose) Pavilions on Central Apts Skyline Lofts Apt. (Downtown) ZaZu Apartment Homes Byrant Commercial Properties Old Republic Title
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Macy’s Biltmore Fashion Park NEW! The Fit Alterations 16 NEW! Ace of Fades (Adrian Byrd) 63 Cornelis Hollander Jewelers 34 Diamond Jim’s (2 locations) 51 AZ Fun Services Gifts/Costumes Whozitz and Whatzitz Gifts 32 Now or Never R Salon 43 Coiffeur’s Salon Salon 24 Assh Copper Salon Fast Signs on Central Dance Starz
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CHECK OUT OUR AD IN THIS ISSUE (use page number) OR INSIDE THE ION ARIZONA APP (by catagory) Braces for all Faces Pueblo Family Physicians (2 loc) 4 Family Practice Specialists 51 Spectrum Medical Health Markets - Amy Powell 54 Healthcare Solutions - F Saltzburg Horizon Chiropractic Sassy Glasses - Retail frames 34 Thomas Eye Care (in Lenscrafters) Lashes & Lasers Innova Medspa Stonewall Instutute Recovery Clean State Recovery CVS Speacialty 56 Community Walgreens Pharmacy Estetica Cosmetic Surgery
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ADULT Cactus Cities Softball Varsity Gay Kick-Ball League Phoenix Frontrunners Gay Bowlling Phoenix Phoenix Hellraisers Flag Football G.L.A.D. Dart League Phoenix Storm Rugby Team
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CANNABIS / CBD / VAPE The Wellness Spot (CBD) Herbal Wellness Ctr. (medicinal) Butt Out Vape Shop
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES All State Insurance - E. Vasquez Health Markets - Amy Powell State Farm Ins. - Mary Contreras Alliance Wealth Management Law offices of John Phebus MDK Law Group Phillips Law Group Dave Connell Bookkeeping
Doggy Daze - Grooming/retail Wag n Wash Smelly Dog Pet Sit AZ Alta Vista Vetenarian Clinic Phoenix Dog, Cat & Bird Hospital Saving One Life
Equality Arizona (EQAZ) ANDES - Nude social club 35 FIERCE Friends - Social club BLAEQ - Black LGBTQ Social club
Cambria Hotel (Downtown Phx) 23 Palomar Hotel (Downtown) Embassy Suites - Airport Wyndham Garden (Midtown Phx) The Tuxon Hotel (Tucson) Hotel Congress (Dntwn Tucson) Royal Villas - Adult Hotel Let it Roll Bowlling 52 Big Surf Waterpark Luxor Hotel (Las Vegas)
Dick’s Cabaret Flex Phoenix Health Spa The Chute Bathhouse The Adult Shoppe (3 locations) 42 Off Chute Too Castle Superstores Hustler Hollywood Paradise Bookstore Zorbas Adult Shoppe New APP Ads added weekly. Check back often for LGBTQ+ friendly business, organizations and non-profits!
Is your business, organization or non-profit not listed here? ION Arizona partners recieve:
Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS 39 RipplePHX - HIV Testing/events Aunt Rita’s - HIV Fundraising 59 Terros Health 35 Maricopa County Public Health Pima County Public Health SAAF - HIV/AIDS Tucson Phoenix Pride 49 Tucson Pride Flagstaff Pride Bisbee Pride Latino Pride Alliance Equality Chamber of Commerce One Community 850zip.com Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
• Full color ad in EVERY IONAZ • Full interactive APP page: - Logo banner ad - Slide show - One touch phone dialing - Google Maps directions - Uber and Lyft built into Maps - YouTube videos - Organization discription - Links to website & social media - Hours of operations - Specials offers - Yelp reviews - Update anytime No obligation consultation. Call Jack Tesorero today at 602-750-1164 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Your community in your pants, 24/7!
pril 17: Conjunction of the Moon and Mars: Our flaming red planet makes emotions boil and everybody’s bitchy and cranky. ¶ April 19-May 3: A cluster of planets in Taurus brings in dat coin, but look out for materialism and hedonism. ¶ April 27: Pluto goes into retrograde; it’s a good time to revise personal goals. Watch out for shady characters. ¶ April 26: A shocking Full Moon in Scorpio brings confrontation. Expect heightened passions, exposed secrets, and an urge to transform fears into power. ¶ May opens a door with profound challenges. Prepare for the Mercury Retrograde on the 31st. Relax. Don’t let this one stress you out. Too much. ARIES Mar. 21 - Apr. 20 It’s always about you, but now others agree. All systems: “Go!” Please, no temper tantrums when you don’t get your way. Birthday? Prioritize money, and set a budget to manifest goals. Magic happens! TAURUS April. 21 - May 20 You shine more than ever! Fair warning: watch your language and don’t say anything bitchy. To anybody. Seriously. If you got a birthday, you’re motivated to push forward with a plan and taking a risk rewards you monetarily and emotionally. GEMINI May 21 - June 21 The New Moon of April 11 triggers your social life back to the days before the pandemic, but mind your distance. Even the planets say, “Play by the rules.” A friend does something special to you. Oops. For you. Maybe a little bit of both. CANCER June 22 - July 22 Mars is in da house, so you’re feeling more assertive and decisive. You yearn for something exotic–like a career in stripping. Your charisma has your booty poppin’. Maybe stripping is a good idea after all. 62
LEO July 23 - Aug. 22 The past year has been, well, shitty. But now this is your season for expansion and exploration. Be careful, because Venus clashes with Pluto. Need help? All you have to do is ask. (Ask someone hot.) VIRGO Aug. 23 - Sep. 22 With temps sizzling, you’re feeling the urge to merge, thanks to the Sun and Mercury. You’ll cross new milestones with your career and in some hoity-toity social circles. Venus puts the spotlight on your sexy personality. LIBRA Sep. 23 - Oct. 22 Embrace change. This might be at home, at the workplace, or maybe at a seedy bar, who knows? You will learn from a mistake. Jupiter’s new transit in Aquarius sparks your creativity. SCORPIO Oct. 23 - Nov.23 Expect lots of feelings, emotions, desires and reactions. That’s pretty much always how you roll. The Full Moon on April 26 brings a deeply personal goal within reach. Grab it! SAGITTARIUS Nov. 23 - Dec. 23 Look for success at work. You’re not gonna get a trophy, but you’ll be appreciated. Jupiter and Mercury bring a rollercoaster of ups and downs. You’ll make an important decision. CAPRICORN Dec. 23 - Jan. 20 What’s the tea? Mercury is in charge of communication and connects with Pluto. You’re gonna get an earful of juicy news. What do you do with this? It’s a conundrum. (Look it up.) AQUARIUS Jan. 21 - Feb. 19 Family is a pain in the astral sensibility. Wait ’til it all blows over. Look for planetary support to expand your world of pleasure. And something else. PISCES Feb. 20 - Mar. 20 Someone is willing to invest in your ideas, futuristic thinking, or unique services. (We’re not talking about blowies!) April 16 is one of your best days ever. Thank Jupiter and Mars.
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The Apr/May Issue of Ion Arizona Magazine Featuring the 12th Annual Pets and the City Fundraiser for Joshua Tree Pet Feeding Assistance Proj...