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TUCSONWEEKLY.COM DECEMBER 15, 2022 3 DECEMBER 15, 2022 | VOL. 37, NO. 50 RANDOM SHOTS By Rand Carlson 17 Ballet Tucson, TSO collaborate on ‘The Nutcracker’ ARTS Steve Treviño saves the day as ‘America’s Favorite Husband’ COMEDY 16 Mayor cuts the ribbon to renovated public safety facility CURRENTS 9 CONTENTS NEWS TUCSON SALVAGE A CLASSIC PORNO STAR, AN AUDIO MAESTRO, AND THE SWEET SPOT 4 CITY WEEK CITY WEEK CALENDAR 12 LAUGHING STOCK COME ON DOWN TO RETRO GAME SHOW NIGHT 14 XOXO 20 WEEDLY SURVEYS: AMERICANS BELIEVE MARIJUANA IS SAFER THAN ALCOHOL ............................24 EXTRAS ASTROLOGY ............................................28 CLASSIFIEDS 30
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A CLASSIC PORNO STAR, AN AUDIO MAESTRO, AND THE SWEET SPOT
IT IS A COUPLE DUDES, AN ODD couple, really. The owner, John Mintzer, and his sole employee, Justin Miller. They’re behind the storefront’s main room, hunched over pieces of home stereo gear. An action image of Kurt Cobain hangs high above, keeps eye. Each in a separate, orderly workspace outﬁtted with tools, sprays, soldering guns, magniﬁers, harmonic distortion measuring machines and other gadgets boasting fetching VU meters. Maybe a customer will stroll in, break the peace and pace, the sort of mutual lazy exhilaration in their work.
The lighted, windowless back mini-warehouse area, divided by shelved stacks of stereo equipment, smells faint-
ly of the inside of an old analog TV set. Squint and ditch Cobain and it could be the ’70s or ’80s; the HiFi Workshop, tucked in behind a Somali-food restaurant in central Tucson, seems to exist free of time, but nostalgia is palpable in the vintage stereo components in the little showroom for sale. It is where you might wait for something to happen, though you’d never know it.
In such moments it is easy to discover things about people, sometimes in the opening minutes. Spindly shop owner Mintzer steps around from his workbench, introduces himself. Grey mustache, blue t-shirt and jeans, seasoned face, and eager so his voice is never ﬂat. He looks his age, 67, but doesn’t show it.
Soon we’re talking his life, hitting on pivotal beats like smoking weed at 12, his kid pirate radio station, running away from his Pennsylvania home and hanging in the Village at 14, his older, trailblazing porn-star sister, who helped usher in the American sexual revolution, and her tragic early death, and, ﬁnally, how audio gear saved his life.
IT WASN’T ALL CAKE AS SOLE sibling of porn actress Tina Russell (born Linda Mintzer), decades before porn ubiquity, the easy-access Only Fans pages, countless free porn sites, multi-mil-
lionaire porno players. Needless to say, this stu was taboo, and illegal, when Linda began in 1970, doing live sex shows and 8 mm loops, working with, among others, the Times Square porn king Marty Hodas.
The siblings were born in working-class town Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Catholic raised, Dad was an old-school functioning alcoholic, come home from long days and let go. Drink all weekend. A WWII vet, Army Air Corps Radio Operator, a respected electronic
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM DECEMBER 15, 2022 4
SEE SALVAGE PAGE 6
& photos by Brian Smith
Audio electronics saved John Mintzer’s life.
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM DECEMBER 15, 2022 5
engineer for Sylvania. Then there was their stay-at-home mom, who had an 8thgrade education. The old man listened to country, Johnny Cash, Porter Wagoner.
“My parents never talked about anything personal,” John says. “I found out my dad had a hard life when he was younger. Once I woke up when I was 7 or 8, and our house was on fire from his cigarette. I’d have to sneak up and pull lit cigarettes out of his hand when he was passed out.”
John and Linda were close, though she was seven years older. She was smart, an engaged straight-A student, and artistic, shy and beautiful. She worked as a Candy-striper volunteer in Williamsport hospitals, keen to become a nurse or social worker. Both attended catholic schools.
Big sister Linda’s intellectual curiosity was boundless, and she turned John on to music and her rock ’n’ roll records, art and ideas, pot and wine, and Greenwich Village in the days of Nam and Stonewall riots, Dylan and Ginsberg. “She said, ‘I’m Expanding your mind beyond Williamsport.’ It started when I was in 7th grade.”
Linda made her way to the big city after high school in ’66. After fits and starts at a few universities (at one point she dropped out of NYU while studying psychology) between Williamsport and Manhattan, Linda met and married an older photographer named John Sanderson, a pre-AIDs, open marriage. Her
dad thought he was a creep. In short, the couple decided to perform in sex work, changed their names and appeared in countless scenes together, and she performed with many other men.
A ’71 New York crackdown on porn saw the couple move to Peru for a year, where they lived in a tent, and she learned Spanish and studied the country’s history. Upon returning to New York Linda penned an autobiography, the long outof-print Porno Star, released in 1973 on Lancer, known for its paperback science fiction and fantasy releases.
Images of Linda in the ’70s show a kind of X-rated Crystal Gayle, the hippie-boho spirit, the innocence-tinged sexual tension and forever half-lidded stare, the fall of her long dark hair. In those days only specific women ever generated that kind of attention, in any field. By the early ’70s, John’s sister was the biggest name in porn films. (Several of those early experimental sexploitationers employed arthouse trope imitations of Warhol and Fellini mixed with explicit sex.) The forgotten 35-mm film Not Just Another Woman from ’74, in which Linda plays a nun, is still considered one of the most ambitious, best X-rated films ever. Stars like Harry Reems and activist/sexologist Annie Sprinkle called Linda the world’s “first porn star,” and adored her on-screen and off.
Linda’s porn vision was to make artful statements of love and mix truthful explicit sex in worthy story-driven films. In Porno Star, she wrote persuasively of the struggles of getting such “pretty fuck films” made. She did nationwide book signings. Her movies and book found their way to Williamsport, and mom and dad were stunned. “My dad basically disowned her,” John says. “But they did see each other after. I think he kind of just blocked it all out.”
John was probably a senior in high school when he first saw his sister’s sex work. Others tried to shame him. But, he thought, this is my sister, this is what she wants to do.
“She wasn’t ashamed,”
he says. “I really respected that; I was proud of her for doing what she wanted to do, and standing out. And it never upset me, the first time I saw any of her movies. It was kinda weird, it was my sister. I went along with friends to a drive-in, seeing her up there and my friends going, ‘oh, wow, she’s amazing.’”
Linda took pride in her career, kept scrap books, embraced with joy and gusto her sex work in film. But the movies were getting worse, far from the nascent filmmaking thoughtfulness that drew her in. She’d often turn down work if it didn’t suit her. Soon her husband left her for a 17-year-old girl. Linda was devastated. She hit the bottle and prescription pills, bloated and became anorexic. Her appearance suffered and the roles dried up. In 1981, she flew out to San Diego with her female partner to hang with John, who had moved west to work as a tech at an audio chainstore. He was shocked at her appearance. Last off the plane and in a wheelchair, she rolled out sickly and emaciated. One of the first things she said to John was she needed to get a drink. “I was devastated,” he says.
A few days later she was in the hospital dying. Her insides decayed.
“She was swollen up like a balloon,” John says. She squeezed his arm and begged him to get her out of there. He stood there helpless. She died of alcoholic liver disease, pancreatitis, starvation from anorexia, self-destruction and heartache.
“My mother was pretty heartbroken, but my dad rationalized it, saying, ‘that’s what happens when you don’t take care of yourself.’ That’s how they were.”
“When my sister was dying she had this look of total fear,” John adds. “Being so afraid and so alone.”
He saw the same look on his father’s face when he died of cancer the next year. “I told myself I do not want to die like this.”
JOHN’S EMPLOYEE JUSTIN STEPS
outside the shop for a smoke, returns, and is testing out gear, booming the
Jackson 5, vintage rhythms to color vintage memories and sadnesses. Justin, in his 40s, a musician, nurses a lifelong fascination with electronics, had a previous job booking shows at Tucson venue The Flycatcher before it was demolished. He doesn’t say much beyond hilarious and smart observations. He listens.
“He’s the story here,” Justin says, pointing to John.
John picks up his fascination with electronics, its genesis.
He’d dig through his dad’s electronics magazines in bed at night. He was soldering at 6 years old. By 12 he was building good-sound component stereos from discarded console stereos and found pieces. “My dad would come home from the bar with an old radio or something somebody wanted to fix and he’d give it to me.”
The kid built an illegal pirate home radio station, broadcasting his sister’s records around the block. His county-music listening, electronics-whiz Dad taught John a lot, it was his redemption as a father. John’s parents hardly instilled in their children any kind of roadmap to
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM DECEMBER 15, 2022 6
SALVAGE FROM PAGE 4 SEE SALVAGE PAGE 7
Linda Mintzer’s autobiography. (LINDA MINTZER/SUBMITTED)
negotiate life, and the kid had his big sister’s teaching for a world beyond Williamsport.
He’d run away from home. Once, he hitchhiked with a buddy from Williamsport to New York City, hung around a few days and then split to Jacksonville, Florida. He was 14. He wound up in jail for vagrancy. He used someone’s draft card as a fake I.D. until cops discovered his true identity. They phoned his dad, who said, “Keep him awhile. See if he wants to come home.”
“It was pretty traumatic in that jail getting pushed around by somebody who killed somebody,” John says.
Growing up, John was terrible at sports, “always the last one picked” on the schoolyard. He gave up on the kids in his old neighborhood, and soon they called him “hippy.” After high school he spent a year studying electronic engineering at Penn State, and bailed.
While staying with his sister in New York, John got a break, hired as a tech of sorts at Todd Rundgren’s storied Secret Sound studio in Manhattan, in a loft belonging to producer/Utopia keyboardist Moogy Klingman. It is where Rundgren recorded ’73’s A Wizard A True Star and ’74’s Todd.
Whenever Todd was in the studio his then-girlfriend, model Bebe Buell, was always on his lap, he says. “And I remember Bette Midler recording there, she came up to my chin. She gave me a hug, that’s the way she was.”
John was too self-doubting to have
no job security. He lasted six months at Rundgren’s studio. “It didn’t work well for me,” he says. “I wanted to be up all night with them doing coke, deep down I wanted to live the New York studio life, but there was no structure, no schedule.”
That’s when he moved to San Diego, at 21, for a secure stereo tech job, stayed five years, until just after his sister died and returned home to help care for his father until he passed. He opened a stereo store in his hometown and that was it.
John may have stumbled onto electronics as a kid, opened successful businesses in several states, branched out to car alarms and cell phones. Along the way he became his father. “I was mainly a beer drinker, had a refrigerator with a keg in it. I always said I’d never be like him. I had children. I couldn’t do that.”
John married, divorced, remarried and divorced the same woman. Has two biological children, with whom he is close, and in 2020 he became a grandpa. At one point, he went back to school, earned a degree in accounting, and worked white collar. It didn’t last but a few years. “Ninety percent of my life was self-employment, I never felt rewarded the other way.”
He’s been sober 30 years, smokes a little weed now and then, talks about his bad back and knee pains, the years of crawling though small places installing audio. He laughs of once installing a full disco in a mansion owned by Rockefeller kin, inserting a subwoofer under the guy’s bed.
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM DECEMBER 15, 2022 7
SALVAGE FROM PAGE 6 SEE
SALVAGE PAGE 8
Hifi Workshop is slammed with vintage gear.
The certified electronic technician is an audiophile in that he has long had a heightened awareness to the science of actual sonics and vibrations, and how most artists intend the music to sound. He could talk days about switch-mode power supplies, driver boards and transformers, digital to analog converters — he is a master at repairing, modifying, building audio gear — but this stuff runs deeper than sound and mechanics. It’s about the actual touch, how the electronics work. It’s the inner-noise cancelling stuff, the internal conversations with self. “It is a meditation,” he says. “It’s one of the few things in life that eased all the tormenting in me.” He pauses. “It saved me.”
Several years ago, he retired in Florida (“had enough of that place”). He refitted a van into a rolling studio apartment, hit the road for two years discovering, spent months doing volunteer work with rescued dogs in New Mexico. He arrived in Tucson, worked for his friend-owner of the now-gone Stereo Hospital. He fell in love with Tucson, couldn’t stay retired and opened this place three years ago with about $20k. He lives in an eastside apartment. He doesn’t need much, doesn’t want much. He’s been offered jobs at high-end audio manufacturers over the years and he turned them all down.
He knows audio is science-based, and the gobbledygook used to describe the high-end stuff puzzles. So, he and another partner in Florida began building stereo tube amps and preamps they dubbed Cathodyne (Cathodyne. com), some of which are available at Hifi Workshop. It’s high-end audio that is remarkably
inexpensive and simple, because, John says, there is no marketing, no staff, no factory. The components are constructed of love. He services true high-end stuff too, and digital; reference audio pieces sit on the shelf ready for pickup.
In a world where most music is consumed through crap-sounding phones and laptops, you’d think Hifi Workshop would be doomed. Hardly. They’re slammed. In a Southwestern town centered in blue-collar sensibilities, where luxury items like a new 100k stereo is beyond anyone’s means, this guy, like his Hifi Workshop showroom, is mostly vintage, part nostalgia, part niche. It works, like the classic analog stuff he sells, used and restored.
John’s sister Linda taught him decades ago how the music matters. He got it. “Some music caused this feeling inside of me, Bowie, Simon & Garfunkel, Stones. We all resonate to a certain frequency, when you hit those, those harmonics, it hits something deep inside. I don’t want to leave that place ever.”
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM DECEMBER 15, 2022 8
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John Mintzer and his Cathodyne audio creation.
MAYOR CUTS THE RIBBON TO RENOVATED PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY
By Hope Peters Tucson Weekly Staﬀ Writer
TUCSON’S PUBLIC SAFETY
Communications Department celebrated the opening of its newly remodeled public safety facility Dec. 2.
The center handles approximately 1 million 911 calls annually for the greater Tucson area. It was consolidated in 2017 to reduce call transfers and wait times while providing consistent responses to the community, according to a department statement.
“Today I am proud to join in the celebration of the grand opening of the public safety communication center,” Tucson Mayor Regina Romero said. “The 911 communications team represents the
front line for our first responders. The incredible work that is done here to protect our community is felt and appreciated by your mayor and council. Thank you so much for your service to our community.”
The mayor followed with the introduction of PSCD’s director, Sharon McDonough, who has deep roots in Tucson.
“It was just in March of this year we appointed director McDonough to this role,” the mayor said. “Sharon has served our community for nearly 30 years…and brings her vast experience to stabilize the 911 communications department.”
McDonough added, “Just months ago, the area you are seated in right now is the
entirety of our space. Our whole center existed in this room, so you can imagine it was really cramped, crowded and noisy.”
McDonough said it was impossible to separate or social distance during the pandemic, which led to a staﬃng shortage. “It was a great detriment to our staff.”
“As you’ll see during your tour, our
training room was tiny,” McDonough said. “Small little desks, one or two monitors and when one of our trainees would get out to the floor, into the real world, they were overwhelmed.”
She said it is a fully functional center,
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM DECEMBER 15, 2022 9 SESSION 1 Classes run Jan. 15-March 11 (No classes on Jan. 16 and Feb. 20)
2 Classes run March 19-May 13 (No classes on March 31 and April 9) Register at: EZEEreg.com Registration information: (520) 791-4877 tucsonaz.gov/parks
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Tucson Police Chief Chad Kasmar, Public Safety Communications Department Director Sharon McDonough, Mayor Regina Romero and City Manager Michael Ortega cut the ribbon during the PSCD grand opening event on Dec. 2. (NOELLE HARO-GOMEZ/CONTRIBUTOR)
FACILITY FROM PAGE 9
“so if something crashes and burns on the other side of the building, we have a place to roll over.”
One of the department’s primary concerns was its staff’s health.
“That was the biggest premise we looked at when we were designing the center,” McDonough said. “We set out to create a center designed to enhance that wellness and provide places for fitness, places for relaxation, and places to recoup.”
The renovated public safety building is equipped with the tools to achieve those goals. “The facility now has better console spacing,” she said. “Enhanced sound proofing, group lighting, fully equipped gym, a sensory room and a nursing room; places where people can go to find a quiet spot to decompress.”
New photographs adorn the walls throughout the renovated facility, which allows the department to have its own identity while still honoring its relationship with police and fire.
Romero said McDonough, Police Chief Chad Kasmar, Fire Chief Chuck Ryan, and Community Safety Health and Wellness program director Sarah Launius joined her and spoke at a 911 Conference in New Orleans in June.
“There we spoke at the Transforming 911 Conference where we framed the need for a blueprint to transform our emergency dispatch.” Romero said. “Tucson is a national leader when it comes to reimagining 911. We have the vision. We have the leadership, and we have the resources to make that happen.”
The completely remodeled facility incorporates the “vision with a restored atmosphere and includes an expanded call-taking and dispatching floor, a designated training center, a redesign of the administration wing, a department fitness
center, and a sensory room to help employees reset after a tough call,” a department statement said.
“Part of this work is investing in the resources to train the next generation of 911 operators,” Romero said. “Sharon’s team recently onboarded a new class of trainees and they will be the first to train in the newly remodeled center. This expansion will make it possible for more robust training. You know the better training we create, the better culture that results.”
Hired this year, Launius is the city’s first Community Safety, Health and Wellness program director. McDonough and Launius will collaborate and operationalize the 311 system to allow dispatch to reroute nonemergency calls from its 911 system and “ensure the right work is in the right hands,” Romero explained. “I am excited to hear that the initial 311 administration team has been hired.”
Kasmar thanked everyone involved in the public safety community center’s design and the community.
“It is such a special day and I want to thank the community,” Kasmar said. “As Sharon (McDonough) stated, the magnitude of this project can’t be understated. It took some patience from our employees, from our peers, and other city departments and the community, when maybe things didn’t go just as we had wanted.”
He expressed his gratitude for the newly remodeled facility and congratulated the mayor, city council and McDonough.
“This is a really special day,” Kasmar said. “As the chief of police, I can tell you, and also on behalf of Chief Ryan of the fire department, good outcomes start in this building.
“Any team can get a project 95% completed,” he said. “So, congratulations Sharon and your entire team and the staff and everybody in here because everybody in this room played a role in making this possible.”
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM DECEMBER 15, 2022 10
City Manager Michael Ortega speaks during the Public Safety Communications Department remodel and grand opening event on Dec. 2. (NOELLE HARO-GOMEZ/CONTRIBUTOR)
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM DECEMBER 15, 2022 11 Information and tickets, visit: TheArizonaBowl.com 100% OF NET PROCEEDS DONATED TO LOCAL CHARITIES FRIDAY, DEC. 30 10am - Barstool Sports Tailgate Festival • Beer Garden • Food • Community Village • Bands 2pm - Pre-Game • A-10 Fly-By • Marching Band Performances • Sky Divers 2:30pm - OHIO BOBCATS vs WYOMING COWBOYS • Bands • Cheerleaders • Food • Fun • Beer SATURDAY, DEC. 31 6pm - Taco Bell New Year’s Eve DOWNTOWN BOWL BASH • Food Trucks • Beer Tents • Kids Zone • Live Music FIREWORKS presented by Tucson Federal Credit Union from the Hotel Congress Roof
MISTER BING’S SUPPER CLUB:
THE HOLIDAY GALA
Here’s your holiday date night: an Italian-inspired buffet, a ﬂoor show and dancing with your honey at a magical nightclub that vanishes in the morning. The entertainment is dreamy. Brian Levario brings the comedy, but the rest of the evening is for dancing and romancing with the Wholly Cats Swing Club and songbirds Katherine Byrnes, Chach Shook and Crystal Stark. For a break, take a romantic walk through the streets of Trail Dust Town and steal a kiss in the gazebo.
5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, Savoy Opera House, Trail Dust Town, 6541 E. Tanque Verde Road, Tucson, misterbingspresents.com/shows, $85.
HOLIDAY AT THE MARKET
Our favorite thing about the holidays is the cooking! No one will turn down a gift of the freshest ingredients, even if they’re a little early. We can eat them the same day or make and freeze our favorite holiday dishes to cut prep time when we’d rather be chatting with our dinner guests. The bread, though! And all the other baked goods. Plus yummy honeys and preserves of all kinds. This special market day brings the joyful spirit, too. Organizers promise live music, tastings, recipes, family activities and other local holiday gift ideas.
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, Rillito Park Food Pavilion, 4502 N. First Avenue, heirloomfm.org, free admission.
JINGLE & MINGLE
Strictly Grown Folks presents an evening of socializing, dancing, great Caribbean soul food for grownups. As always at Strictly Grown Folks’ special events, we dress to impress. If you want to get out and meet new people, this is the place to start, especially if you’re new to Tucson. DJ Butter 413 will get you on the dance ﬂoor, or just be a dramatic improvement or at least be a dramatic improvement over staying home alone and listening through earbuds. He’ll play the favorites of every generation from the ’70s through the early 2000s. BYOB; setups are available.
9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, Janet & Ray’s, 5443 E. 22nd Street, call or text 520-241-2328, $10 advance, more at the door.
by Linda Ray
A SKEPTICAL EXTRAVAGANZA OF SPECIAL SIGNIFICANCE
The Skeptics Guide to the Universe is an award-winning science podcast with a best-selling book about critical thinking. Don’t nod off just yet though. They are bringing science-y games to challenge your perceptions of reality, and stagecraft to highlight the great good humor that’s made this science project a hit for all ages. With host and musician George Hrab, the SGU crew promise a “Skeptical Extravaganza.”
8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress Street, Tucson, rialtotheatre.com, tickets start at $35.
LOCAL LOVE PRESENTS FESTIVUS
Whether or not you partake of the annual avalanche of holiday decorations, songs, ugly sweaters and budget collapses, you might enjoy this crazy, awesome and often very loud showcase of music more or less antithetical to all that. Promoters promise a night of heavy, progressive and alternative rock from Orchadia, Los Streetlight Curb Players, Nocturnal Theory, Diluvio, Armando Moreno & The Revival, Then When and “something like appropriate.” Go ahead and tempt Santa to put coal in your stocking.
7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress Street, rialtotheatre. com, $8.
RINGING IN THE HOLIDAY SEASON
‘Tis the season for handbells. Those cascading ring-a-lings sound like Christmas-card images of evergreens around a 19the century village with bundled-up families skating on a pond. The Arizona Women’s Chorus, more than 70 singers strong, will immerse us in holiday music under the direction of founder and artistic director Terrie Ashbaugh. Also featured are The Sonoran Hand Bells with Shannon Casey conducting. After the program, the choir and audience will sing Christmas carols.
3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, St. Francis in the Foothills, 4625 E. River Road, azwomenschorus.org, $20, free for children under 12.
ARIZONA HISTORY MUSEUM HOLIDAY EVENT
The Arizona Historical Society hosts a holiday celebration for all ages. Enjoy face painting, craft-making, storytelling, films, live musical performances and a special appearance by Santa Claus while surrounded by artifacts of Tucson’s and Southern Arizona’s history.
2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, Arizona History Museum, 949 E. Second Street, arizonahistoricalsociety.org, $10, $8 kids 7 to 13.
THE DOO WOP PROJECT: A DOO WOP CHRISTMAS
DOWNTOWN PARADE OF LIGHTS
For the 28th year, Tucson’s Downtown Parade of Lights makes it fun for families from all over town to gather along the streets. The parade features holiday lights all over everything from fire trucks to native dancers.
Organizers say the best viewing is along Stone Avenue between Broadway and 17th Street, or along Sixth Avenue between Broadway and 13th Street. There is lots of parking. Search “Park Tucson” online for a Downtown parking map.
6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, Armory Park, free.
This may be the music genre your parents or grandparents grew up with, but everything old is new again with the emergence of Tucson’s great jazz scene. And if swing-dance is your thing, this is your holiday jam. The Fox encourages dancing in front of the stage. The Doo Wop Project traces the evolution of Doo Wop from its street-corner roots to the Big Band era, then gives a Doo Wop twist to, for instance, songs by Michael Jackson and Jason Mraz. Even holiday favorites get the Doo Wop treatment.
8 p.m. Thursday, Dec.15, Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress Street, foxtucson.com, tickets start at $25
MURDER AT THE MAGIC SHOW II
VIP is the way to go, here. Dinner is prepared by Chef Ken Foy, who just won the Iron Chef award for Southern Arizona. But the show, alone, is a VIP experience. Master Magician Norm Marini, who has
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 12 DECEMBER 15, 2022
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COME ON DOWN TO RETRO GAME SHOW NIGHT
By Linda Ray
RETRO GAME SHOW NIGHT WILL celebrate an odd-numbered anniversary, because of course it does.
“What I’d like to definitely announce is that, starting in 2023, we are going back to monthly shows,” said David Hoffman, producer of the wildly popular “Retro Game Show Night” at Hotel Congress. This news will stir jubilation among the show’s avid fans, and they are legion.
On Saturday, Dec. 17, they will have filled the show’s venues to capacity and beyond for 11 years, not counting the early months of COVID-19 lockdown.
In honor of the occasion, Hoffman and the “Retro Game Show Night” ensemble will present a celebrity version of “The
“It’s one of our audience’s favorite games,” Hoffman said. He always speaks of the show in the manner of a carnival barker, and it just feels right.
“We will be making game show history by featuring five celebrity guests on the panel — drag delight Fulta Burstyn, backwoods boytoy Bubba, vacant vet student Brittany, local legend David Fitzsimmons and RGSN’s own executive assistant, Swish Manley.
“The game will be hosted by the fabulous Chatty Kathee (Missy Paschke-Wood) with DJ Paul in the booth and myself on the bell.”
Behind the bar will be Perpetual Best of Tucson-winning bartender Barb Trujillo, also considered part of the RGSN family.
“Over the past year, as we all emerged from COVID isolation, we just (played) every other month, not knowing what kind of response we were going to get,” Hoffman said. “As Missy would attest, the audiences have been insane and huge.”
Paschke-Wood concurred. “I usually say at the beginning, ‘Who’s here for the first time?’ And more than half of the audience at our last show were brand new. It was wild!”
Hoffman created the “Retro Game Show Night” around 2010 with prominent local drag queen Tempest du Jour (UA costume design professor Patrick Holt). Their idea was to create overthe-top parodies of popular mid-century game shows hosted by a drag queen character.
They launched the concept at Colors Restaurant, then on Speedway in Midtown and a popular spot with the gay
community. When Colors closed about a year later, they moved the show to Club Congress.
Hoffman, who was employed with Arizona Theater Company, was aware of the club’s theatrical possibilities because of work he’d done there with a local indie theater company.
“In October of 2012, we ended up at Congress for the first time over Pride Weekend, and it was a huge hit!” Hoffman said. “Now we are Tucson’s longest-running monthly show. It just kind of caught on fire.”
Now primarily a graphic designer and promoter, Hoffman met and worked closely with Paschke-Wood at Arizona Theater Company. Paschke-Wood regarded him as a mentor. With his help and encouragement she created her Chatty Kathee character and began guesting, and occasionally hosting, “Retro Game Show Night.” Eventually she succeeded Holt and Tempest Du Jour as regular host.
Hoffman said of her, “She’s very ensemble-based in her approach. She has a background in improv and that whole
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 14 DECEMBER 15, 2022
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The cast of the October 2022 episode of “Retro Game Show Night,” from left, executive assistant Swish Manley, celebrity guest Brittany, celebrity guest Fulta Burstyn, producer David Hoffman, host Chatty Kathee and DJ Paul. (JIM YAGER/CONTRIBUTOR)
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 15 DECEMBER 15, 2022 tusd1.org/Register CUT• S ON UNIFIED SCHOOLDIS T •TCIR#PROUD2BTUSD Awarded Superintendent of the Year by the Arizona Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators. Congratulations DR. GABRIEL TRUJILLO REGISTRATION IS HAPPENING NOW! Choose Your School for the 2023-24 School Year Tucson Unified – creating a joyful, safe place for student success. TITLE CO-SPONSORS VIP RECEPTION SPONSOR VISIONARY SPONSORS SHOWMAN SPONSORS SUPPORTER SPONSOR SPIRIT SPONSORS CIGNA Canyon Community Bank Casino Del Sol Resort Gem & Jewelry Exchange LLC Holualoa Companies KE&G Construction Lazarus & Silvyn, P.C. Lewis & Roca Peach Properties Saguaro Solar Sundt Construction, Inc. Tucson IDA Tucson Medical Center SUSTAINABLE SPONSORS
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski Tucson Weekly Executive Editor
TUCSON IS A SPECIAL PLACE FOR comedian Steve Treviño, who is dubbed “America’s Favorite Husband.” He’ll never forget the kindness of strangers.
“Tucson’s kind of a special place,” he said.
“My water pump on my car broke in Tucson when I was moving to LA. I was fixing it in an AutoZone parking lot, and somebody came and helped me. I’ll never forget it.”
He’ll return to The Old Pueblo for two shows at the Leo Rich Theatre on Saturday, Dec. 17.
“I’m super excited,” he said. “We’re doing new material. We just released a spe-
cial on YouTube. I think it’s deeper now, more relatable, more honest. I’m just excited to be putting out material that people can relate to.
“I’m talking about the struggles of raising children and talking about how me and my wife complement each other. I bring things to the table that she doesn’t have, and she brings things to the table that I don’t have. That’s why our marriage is successful. People see that being different is always a plus.”
Treviño has been viewed online more than 223 million times, has attracted more than 2 million social media followers and has headlined comedy specials on Netﬂix, Showtime and Amazon Prime.
A promotional clip for his Netﬂix hit, “Relatable,” generated 56 million views on Facebook alone, with the title, “When Your Wife Comes Home from Shopping.” Treviño also produced and wrote for Pitbull’s “La Esquina” reality series.
Raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, Treviño always wanted to be a comedian.
“There is no backup plan,” he said. “I still feel like the young guy. I haven’t quite made it. Most of my team is female and I like it that way. When I talk about my wife on stage, I want to make sure it’s fair and balanced. They help me. They give me that female perspective that’s important for my act.”
It’s important to make his gigs enjoyable for both people watching the show, he added. He enjoys his stand-up career and the podcast with his wife, Renae, “Steve Treviño & Captain Evil.”
“I’m lovin’ my life,” he said. “I do what I want when I want. There are no networks telling me what to do and what to say. My wife and I produce shows, the podcast and social media. We live on our own little island. People keep finding us anyway.”
Treviño has been offered TV shows, but he doesn’t want to go through the routine pilot. He wants to cut to the chase.
“People say they want to write a show with me, but unless they’re going to pick it up, I’m not interested,” he said. “I don’t want to film or write a pilot. I don’t want to go through that. I make TV show money on my podcast.”
“Steve Treviño & Captain Evil” is the result of the pandemic-dictated break. He said he hears from fans that the podcast got them through COVID-19.
“I just tell them, ‘My podcast got me
through COVID,’” he said. “I had no idea how much I needed the stage for my mental health. It was tough and live performers weren’t even thought about in the media. They were finding relief for all these other people. We sat there and thought, ‘What about us? We can’t perform.’ I think performing music and the arts is very, very important for mental health.
“When people say, ‘I survived cancer. All we did was watch your videos’ or ‘You saved our marriage’ or ‘I deal with depression, but I watched your special,’ it’s touching. I get anxiety about it. I have so many messages coming in all the time on the website or social media. I don’t want to miss one. It could be an important one. I spend a lot of hours of my day responding to messages that are important. I might change somebody’s day and life.”
WHEN: 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 17
WHERE: Leo Rich Theatre, 260 S. Church Avenue, Tucson COST: Tickets start at $43
INFO: ticketmaster.com, stevetrevino.com
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 16 DECEMBER 15, 2022
COMEDY STEVE TREVIÑO SAVES THE DAY AS ‘AMERICA’S FAVORITE HUSBAND’
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Steve Treviño hosts a podcast with his wife, Renae, called “Steve Treviño & Captain Evil.” (STEVE TREVIÑO/SUBMITTED)
2022 Giving Guide Putting an end-of-the-year spotlight on local nonpro�its
DECEMBER 15-21, 2022 • TUCSONWEEKLY.COM • FREE
Ten tips for making charitable donations
By Jimmy Magahern Tucson Local Media Contributor
TIS THE SEASON FOR GIVING back, for exercising that “attitude of gratitude” and leaving a legacy with a charitable donation, fa-la-yada-yada.
But let’s face it: Our giving in to warm fuzzy feelings is not why nearly a third of all philanthropic gifts happen in December.
“The emotional benefits of giving certainly play a part in the generosity associated with the holiday season,” said John Hilderbrandt, a Chandler-based wealth adviser with First Interstate Bank.
“But I think if you added up the dollars given for various reasons, it’s probably much more geared toward the tax planning.”
For that, it helps to have some expert guidance.
“Most people donate cash at this time of year, but it’s not necessarily the most
tax-advantaged way to go when you have other assets that will be taxed if you sell them,” Hilderbrandt added. “If you have securities, whether they be public or private, real estate or alternative assets, there are ways that you can donate those and get the full tax benefits of your charitable giving.”
1. Donate appreciated noncash assets
Hilderbrandt said his first tip is to donate appreciated noncash assets that are held more than a year. “The reason for that is, you can claim the full fair market value as the itemized deduction. And then the other benefit of that is that the wash sale rules don’t apply,” he added, referring to the IRS rule that prohibits taxpayers from claiming a loss on the sale of a security if that person repurchases the
same stock within 30 days. But this rule doesn’t apply when appreciated stock is donated to a charity. “So you can buy those same shares after you donate immediately, and you’d have a higher cost basis.”
Hilderbrandt offers an example. “Let’s say you have $50,000 worth of Apple stock that you’re looking to sell, and you’re in the 15% tax rate for long-term capital gains. If you sold that stock, you’d have to pay 15% of that value as long-term capital gains. But if you donate the shares to a charity, you get to deduct the whole amount on your taxes, and the charity doesn’t have a tax consequence when it sells the shares.” Most large charitable organizations are set up to accept stock donations and then sell them.
2. Donate private securities and private real estate or business interests
“There’s more involved in donating private interests and investment interests, but for the wealthy, they certainly have that as an option,” Hilderbrandt said. “Like donating stock, you don’t have to pay any long-term capital gains on donating those assets either.”
3. Donate employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) funds
“Many companies issue ESOP shares,” Hilderbrandt said. “If you gift those shares, the benefit there might be that your company could match charitable contribution. So your charitable donation is effectively doubled.”
4. Consider using a donor advised fund
“Many of the brokerage firms and mutual fund companies have what are known as donor advised funds, where you can set one up and make contributions to it throughout the year without specifying what you’re going to donate that money for,” said Hilderbrandt. “So you can avoid this year-end rush to immediately decide who you’re going to give the money to when you use a donor advised fund.”
5. Consider “bunching”
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act included some changes related to charitable giving. Principally, the standard deduction has been raised to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for couples. “That’s a big
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TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 2 DECEMBER 15, 2022 2022 GIVING GUIDE
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“I really don’t dream about the future now, because the present is so wonderful. Primavera made my dreams come true.”
The last two years have been a struggle for many in our community. Below are focus areas of our programs and services, and just some of the outcomes.
14,000 individuals and families were served through our programs and services 615 veteran families moved from homelessness to housing, 61% of whom were permanently housed
Teresa is a single mother with a 12-year-old daughter, who has worked and studied hard, and proudly became a U.S. Citizen in 2015.
This last year, Teresa’s property owner told her he was raising her monthly rent from $650 to $1,150. There was no way she could financially absorb a nearly 80% rent increase. She wondered if eviction and even homelessness might follow.
But then, a friend told her about Primavera Foundation and our HomeOwnership program. While she truly did not believe that she could possibly qualify to purchase a home, Teresa reached out and met our team.
They helped her navigate the complicated processes, improve her credit score, and create a viable budget. Finally, our team helped her to qualify for and secure vitally important down payment assistance, and in September, Teresa became a first-time homeowner!
29 families purchased a home, totaling $5,000,000 in home purchasing power
2,500 individuals received safe, affordable housing, 1,700 of whose housing became permanent
294 participants worked 35,310 hours through Primavera Works, a social enterprise workforce development program; 65% of the workers exited Primavera Works with stable housing $451 per month is the average rent of a Primavera resident, while the average Tucson renter is paying $1,240 per month
Primavera Foundation qualifies for the Arizona Tax Credit. Please give a gift of any size today to help make more outcomes like Teresa’s possible. Together, we can and do make dreams come true.
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TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 3 DECEMBER 15, 2022 2022 GIVING GUIDE
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WAYS TO GIVE: 3
increase over what it was in the past,” Hlderbrandt said. “And what that does is when you make a donation, unless it’s pretty sizeable, you may not actually qualify for itemized deductions. So one of the strategies would be to bunch multiple years of contributions into one.”
This works best if you’re coming off a high earning year or planning on retiring. “Let’s say you normally make a $10,000 contribution to your favorite charities each year and you only have, say, $13,000 in other deductions,” said Hilderbrandt. “That doesn’t get you into the itemized deduction range, meaning it’s really not having a big impact on your taxes. In that case, doubling or tripling the amount that you would normally contribute in one year gives you the ability to itemize deductions, and then either do zero or a much lesser amount in the next year or two.”
6. Use the charitable donation to o set the tax costs of converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA
Since the introduction of the Roth IRA in 1997, many investors have opted to convert their traditional IRAs or 401k’s to Roth plans, which allow them to build tax-free retirement income, have easier early access to the money and offer better terms for their heirs. The catch is that because a Roth uses after-tax contributions rather than before-tax dollars, as a traditional IRA works, the investor has to pay income tax on the appreciation in that traditional IRA upon conversion.
Hilderbrandt suggests making a charitable donation to offset those costs. “That’s a little bit more complicated, but it’s an effective strategy that helps convert savings to a tax-free retirement vehicle while making charitable contributions.”
7. Make a qualiﬁed charitable distribution from an IRA
If you stick with a traditional IRA past age 72, the IRS binds savers to start withdrawing required minimum distributions, or RMDs, or face a 50 percent penalty excise tax on the amount they don’t withdraw. This can place those with other sources of income into a fairly high tax
Hilderbrandt advises clients in that enviable situation to make charitable donations from their IRA. “You can give up to $100,000 per individual charity from your IRA per year, and that distribution is not even reported as taxable income.”
8. Donate cash from the sale of depreciated assets
“Each year, investment managers will do what is known as tax loss harvesting,” said Hilderbrandt. “You have both losses and gains in your portfolio, and typically if you sell something at a gain and you’re going to have a tax consequence, you look for losses within that portfolio you can sell to offset that gain. In this case, you could actually donate the proceeds of a depreciated asset sale and claim the charitable deduction. While you may be disappointed in the performance, you’re able to actually provide benefit to others by using those proceeds, and still have the ability to claim that loss against future gain.”
9. Donate appreciated assets to balance your portfolio
“When we rebalance a portfolio, we’re typically buying or selling to make sure that one asset class is not out of whack in terms of the recommended asset allocation model,” Hilderbrandt said. “So you can utilize a what’s known as a part-sale, part-gift strategy. You claim the charitable deduction for donating appreciated assets in the amount that offsets capital gains tax on the sale of other appreciated assets. This is usually only done in years where there were a lot of gains in a portfolio.”
10. Set up a charitable remainder trust
“In a charitable remainder trust, you donate an asset to a charity that they’re going to get at a future date, but you get the tax deduction today,” explained Hilderbrandt. “So you get income from those assets for a set period of time, and then that fund is donated at the end of the trust. Universities, in particular, love to be named in these charitable major trusts.
“Typically, we only do these for very wealthy individuals,” Hilderbrandt added. “But we do get those clients.”
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 4 DECEMBER 15, 2022 2022 GIVING GUIDE
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TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 5 DECEMBER 15, 2022 2022 GIVING GUIDE
GIFT Arizona spotlights other nonproﬁts
By Summer Aguirre Tucson Weekly Staﬀ Writer
SERVING OTHERS BEFORE
oneself is the mission behind the nonprofit GIFT Arizona.
Created by Steve Ochoa, and Morgan and Sheila Chonis, GIFT Arizona supports Tucson organizations by increasing donor contributions and founder endowments, and fundraising and hosting events benefiting their programs.
“GIFT stands for ‘giving and inspiring from the heart together.’ So that’s what we want to do — We want to give and we want to inspire others to give,” said Sheila.
The co-founders, who all have deep roots in Tucson, were driven to begin GIFT to support the many local causes with which they align.
They realized that they could combine their individual skills and experiences to support the missions of other organizations instead of creating a traditional nonprofit contributing to one need in the
With integrity, community and amplification as its core values, they launched GIFT Arizona in January 2022.
“It’s really important in our family and our community to support the local business, the local restaurants, the entrepreneur, the little guy who’s just starting out or struggling and has limited resources,” said Sheila.
Morgan explained that they often see nonprofit founders and executive teams “wearing many hats” to operate their organizations, as many don’t have the necessary team members or resources to meet their needs and goals.
“If we can come in and provide support for any of those hats, that allows them to shine brighter in their zone of genius, because we can support them in the other
areas that they may be strapped too thin or they don’t have the resources for,” she said.
GIFT begins by determining what would be “life-changing” for other local nonprofits. From there, the organization supports them by donation matching and utilizing their local connections.
By donating through GIFT, the organization capitalizes the funding that goes toward other nonprofits.
“We’re better together. When we come together and someone donates to GIFT, that dollar is extended by the leveraging pool we’re creating with all of our other partners, as well as amplifying where the dollar goes,” Morgan said. “So every dollar is expanded when given to GIFT rather than going directly to the organization itself.”
On the occasion of an organization’s
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event, GIFT will not only match to a specific amount of money raised, it will heighten the organization’s exposure and social media presence. Some-
times the funding they generate is two-fold or more, simply from increasing exposure.
From the time GIFT received its 501(c)3 designation in March 2022 to September, the organization had provided over $11,000 to local entities.
The co-founders’ focus this year has been its coordination with Jim Click Millions for Tucson Raﬄe, which they chose to benefit Therapeutic Ranch for Animals and Kids (TRAK) Ranch. As a result of fundraising through selling raﬄe tickets, GIFT matches the money raised between the two organizations to fund TRAK’s programming.
Other aligning organizations that GIFT supports include the Tucson Family Food Project, Diaper Bank of Arizona and the equine therapy program Therapeutic Riding of Tucson (TROT). It also
supports household-name nonprofits, such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Ronald McDonald House.
One of GIFT’s highlight partnerships is Tucson’s Ascent Real Estate Team, which donates a portion of its agents’ commission.
“The first gift they gave was to the Bill Felix Memorial Foundation, and the nice thing is we were able to come in and amplify and get them a matching gift,” Ochoa said. “It’s been an amazing process as we go down the line.”
Ochoa described one of the foundation’s donors as a 10-year-old boy who enjoyed listening to Arizona Public Media’s programming with his grandmother during the pandemic so much, that he was moved to donate $20 of his allowance.
GIFT offered to match the boy’s $20, spurring a movement of donations on social media through comment sections.
“This just grew and grew, and then we came together as GIFT and offered to match up to $500,” Morgan said. “So just with us kind of initiating this amplification on social media, his $20 has turned into — and is still counting — $1,450.”
Moments like these are moving for GIFT’s co-founders.
Although GIFT is in its infancy, its co-founders are looking forward to their organization taking off. They have been creating an extensive plan for how to further support aligning organizations going into spring 2023.
“We want the Tucson community to realize that the co-founders of GIFT all have the same intent to be good citizens of Tucson, Arizona,” Ochoa said. “We want others that have that capability, irrespective of what that is, to recognize how large or how small you may seem, as long as you’re willing to give back to the community in many, many different ways.”
Whether it is a smile or a thoughtful word, Ochoa said that kindness is something needed daily throughout the country, including Tucson. Spreading kindness is one of their missions moving forward with GIFT.
“I feel that we have a lot of momentum and a lot of power behind GIFT to do great things,” Sheila said.
For more information about GIFT Arizona, visit giftarizona.org.
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Trico Electric Cooperative awards $70K in POWER Grants
TRICO ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE’S
staff believes that connection powers its purpose. This connection brings us together as a community — with the understanding that we can do more together than we could do by ourselves.
They support the community through The Trico Electric Charitable Trust. Since 1996, the trust has donated more than $900,000 to local community organizations, schools, veterans groups, first responders, and food banks.
In 2022, the trust awarded $70,000 in POWER Grants to nonprofits providing critical services in southern Arizona. Those grants would not be possible without contributions from members who participate in Operation Round Up, where they round up their electric bill.
The Arivaca Human Resource Group, which provides daily meals and emergency food boxes to clients within the community, received a $5,200 POWER Grant in the spring. The organization
wanted to purchase a small walk-in refrigeration unit along with shelving from the Sahuarita Food Bank but could not afford it. With help from lender CoBank, which matched Trico’s grant, they purchased the refrigeration and freezer unit.
“This is something we have desperately needed in order to store food we use for the daily meals we serve and for the emergency food boxes we provide for our community members in need,” said Sahuarita Food Bank President Rick Vogel.
The Arizona Burn Foundation, which received a $7,400 POWER Grant, partners with local fire departments to install free smoke alarms in low-income and high-risk areas across Arizona to keep communities safe.
“Your kindness means so much to parents, caregivers, burn survivors and children in the burn community,” Catherine Sebesta said.
Youth On Their Own received $2,500
to provide basic needs, financial assistance, guidance and support services to Tucson/Pima County’s students experiencing homelessness with the goal of high school graduation.
“Every day I meet kids whose lives are better because of the generosity of organizations like yours. They have a fighting chance to finish high school and plan for the future because you showed them that you believe they can succeed,” Fred Rodriguez said.
Sister Jose Women’s Center received $5,000 to provide a cooling center for women experiencing homelessness during the extreme heat.
“Your donation will have a transformative impact on the lives of the women we serve. Contributions like yours, make an immeasurable difference and open up a path to a sustainable existence for our guests. Thank you for taking on this vital and rewarding work with us,” Jean Fedigan said.
Friends In Deed, a Green Valley nonprofit, received a $2,500 grant to provide
transportation to senior citizens going to medical appointments.
“Because Friends In Deed operates entirely on donations, we are very appreciative of your generosity,” said Jan Morgan, Friends in Deed operations manager.
“These funds will be helpful in assisting with operations of our Transportation Program, which provides rides to Green Valley seniors to medical appointments, including the expenses of operating our wheelchair vans for those who require a wheelchair trip. Thank you for your generosity.”
Arivaca Helping Hearts received an $8,500 POWER Grant and used the funds to repair a swing bridge, install a fence around the playground and to purchase physical education equipment at San Fernando Elementary School in Sasabe.
“This makes their playground equipment usable again. It’s nice to know the students at San Fernando are safe on the playground,” said Michelle Davis, grant coordinator.
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 10 DECEMBER 15, 2022 2022 GIVING GUIDE
to Tucson Local Media
Trico Electric Cooperative donated $1,000 to the I-19 Rotary Warmth from the Heart Project, which provides free cold weather clothing for adults, children and families struggling to stay warm. “Trico’s generous donation made it possible for so many people to be warm this winter,” Joyce Finkelstein said. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 11 DECEMBER 15, 2022 2022 GIVING GUIDE APPLY TODAY! NOVAHomeLoans.com | 800.955.9125 NMLS 3087 | AZ BK 0902429 | NOVAHomeLoans.com/Buydown BELOW MARKET You Could Save Thousands! 2% With our 2/1 Buydown Program, you could reduce your initial monthly payments for the rst two years of your home loan. The rst year’s interest payment is 2% below the original Note rate, and then 1% below in the second year. Interest payments for the third year to the end of the loan term are at the locked Note rate. The Program information show is for informational/educational purposes only and does not represent a commitment to lend or extend credit. Other conditions and restrictions may apply. Rates and available loan programs are subject to change without notice. Contact a NOVA Loan Ofcer for more information. RISING RATES DOESN’T MEAN YOUR DREAM HOME HAS TO BE OUT OF REACH.
During the Pandemic, 60Million Americans Sought
Assistance From Food Banks!
THAT IS 1 IN EVERY 5-6 PEOPLE!
Of those households with earned income, 72% were living on $20,000 or less each year; and truly, two thirds of those were bringing in less than $10,000 per year. Imagine how difficult it must have been to provide basic necessities for their families!
Of those households with earned income, 72% were living on $20,000 or less each year; and truley, two thirds of those were bringing in less than $10,000 per year. Imagine how difficult it must have been to provide basic necessities for their families!
Years ago, IMPACT decided to find new ways to support children so they could be more successful in school, to ensure they are ready to tackle the world as young adults. We focused on ways to help end generational poverty.
Years ago, IMPACT decided to find new ways to support children so they could be more successful in school, to ensure they are ready to tackle the world as young adults. We focused on ways to help end generational poverty.
Before COVID, we talked about having to do more than just stabilize families and individuals. A comprehensive plan had to be developed so we could help clients achieve self-sustainability. Now, we also focus on Moving People Forward!
Before COVID, we tallked about having to do more that just stabilize families and individuals. A comprehensive plan had to be developed so we could help clients achieve self-sustainability. Now, we also focus on Moving People Forward!
That ripple of change begins at IMPACT!
An INNOVATIVE PARTNERSHIP with B2 provides us, and the campus pantry, with a sustainable weekly supply of fresh produce grown with little water, and additional support for many low income UA college students.
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 12 DECEMBER 15, 2022 2022 GIVING GUIDE impactsoaz.org • 520-825-0009 • email@example.com
OUR PLEDGE TO YOU: 100% of your donations fund programs! FEEDING PEOPLE FORWARD! STRETCHING BUDGETS Moving People
In 2022. IMPACT welcomed a new staff member, David,
In 2022, IMPACT welcomed a staff member, David, a Client Advocate who will work with all our families to help them identify their individual challenges and goals. Clients will be supported by our new corps of Community Navigators; volunteers who will mentor and assist each family to connect with our community partners every step of the way!
IMPACT will also be partnering with a variety of local businesses and organizations to provide families with training, certification and placement in a wide range of high-demand careers, with increased income potential. This will ensure a sustainable self-sufficient future. This innovative concept of providing a diverse collective of partners and workshops will break down the traditional barriers that keep people from reaching their potential. Together we can take a family from surviving to thriving!
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 13 DECEMBER 15, 2022 2022 GIVING GUIDE
OUR PLEDGE TO YOU: 100% of your donations
• Emergency Medical Technology • Automotive Technology • Cybersecurity / IT • Building / Construction Technology • Automated Industrial Technology • Caregiving • Landscaping • Food & Beverage Management • Golf Course Management • Certified Nursing Assistant • Assisted Living Caregiver • Assisted Living Manager Pima Community College Academy of Caregiving Excellence SaddleBrooke Human Resources Office Primavera Pima County One-Stop Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce 3535 E. Hawser St., Tucson, AZ 85739 • 520-825-0009 • impactsoaz.org
Pet adoption is not advised for the holiday season
By Laura Latzko Tucson Local Media Contributor
THE DECISION TO BRING A furry friend into a home during the holidays shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Rescue Me Marana President Nancy Young Wright stressed that pets should not be given as a present.
“We don’t adopt out pets as gifts, and most groups I know don’t either… We don’t feel that’s a good idea to surprise an adult with a dog, cat, kitten or puppy,” Young Wright said.
Located in the Tucson Premium Outlets, Rescue Me Marana is a collaborative adoption center that works with rescue organizations throughout Arizona, including those in rural areas with minimal resources and adopters. They seek to provide an alterative to pet stores selling puppy-mill dogs and cats.
Instead, adopting a pet should be a family decision.
“We hope this is a lifetime commit-
ment to the animal,” Young Wright said.
“We want to make sure the person has a connection to the animal, really loves that animal and feels like it’s the right
one for them. The right one can be a lot of things, so we try really hard to match the needs of the adopter to the animal.”
The organization requires a meet-and-
greet with other dogs that will be in the home.
“We introduce dogs together and try to help them to integrate. How to integrate these cats together, that is important. They aren’t fond of having new animals coming into their turf,” Young Wright said.
Young Wright encourages adopters to think about their schedules, lifestyles and activity levels when adopting, as some breeds or ages may be more appropriate for them.
She said large breed dogs shouldn’t immediately be discounted, as older largebreed dogs 5 and older often have similar energy levels as smaller dogs. Puppies especially require a lot of attention and training.
“We have a conversation with folks.
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 14 DECEMBER 15, 2022 2022 GIVING GUIDE shop Rescue Me Marana. As your neighborhood, nonprofit pet adoption center and retail boutique all proceeds from the Center go directly back into helping dogs, cats, and our region’s most amazing rescues and shelters. 6401 W. Marana Center Blvd., # 902 Tucson AZ 85742 Located across from Old Navy at Tucson Premium Outlets 520.261.1616 | RescueMeMarana.org Rescue Me Tucson, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) IRS charitable organization. EIN 83-1488062 impact -
Saturday 11am-5pm Hours subject to change.
SEE PETS PAGE 16
Bonded pair Alpha and Montana, a brother-and-sister duo, were able to find homes through Rescue Me Marana. (RESCUE ME MARANA/SUBMITTED)
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 15 DECEMBER 15, 2022 2022 GIVING GUIDE Make an Arizona Tax Credit Gift to JFCS Today... AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN SOMEONE’S LIFE TOMORROW! At JFCS of Southern Arizona we believe in healing the world with loving-kindness. Your tax credit donation helps provide counseling and social services to children, adults, and families. Arizona residents can claim up to $400 as an individual or unmarried head of household or up to $800 for married couples filing jointly on their state income tax. CALL: (520) 795-0300 ext. 2220 GIVE ONLINE: JFCSTucson.org, click “Donate Now” MAIL A CHECK: 4301 E. 5th St., Tucson, AZ 85711 jfcstucson.org Donate Today MAKE A DIFFERENCE! save a life. Volunteer - with over 200 cats you know there's always something that needs to be done! From cleaning, to maintenance and everything in between, we need your help. Foster - we receive so many cats that need a home environment to thrive. Bottle babies can be labor intensive but most cats just need a quiet, loving place to recuperate Adopt - we have over 200 cats ready for adoption Some bonded pairs, some older, some kittens. But there's sure to be the purr-fect feline friend for you Donate - our adoption fees don't begin to cover the costs of housing, feeding and caring for our cat residents. Any amount helps! We're open Tuesday-Saturday from 10-5 5278 E. 21st Street
We try to find out what kind of time do they have? Are they both working? Will they be out of the house for 10 to 11 hours a day? If so, adopting a puppy is going to be difficult with that type of schedule unless they are committed to having a pet sitter come in to take the puppy out to the bathroom. Even an adult dog can’t be left that long…Lots of people have help from family members, hire pet sitters or even take the animal to work with them,” Young Wright said.
Volunteers try to educate families about different breeds, so that they understand their energy levels, behavior and needs.
Young Wright said adopters should consider their apartments’ rules when getting a pet.
In general, expenses are important, too. They will likely have grooming, veterinarian, dental, food, toy, training and other costs. As they get older, their costs of care often increase.
Rescue Me Marana has a standard adoption process and application.
“They need to set aside at least an hour to think about it, to talk about it and to fill out the paperwork,” Young Wright said.
During this process, volunteers share as much as they can about the animals’ backgrounds.
The holidays can be a good time to adopt for those that are prepared and have some time off from work. This will allow them to be around as their adopted pets adjust to their new homes.
“There’s a rule called the 3-3-3 rule,” she said.
“It’s what an animal goes through in three days, when they shut down, hide and might not want to eat. Then in three
weeks and then in three months. You might not get to see your true dog until longer than that. We ask people to be patient and to allow a minimal of 30 days for the animal to adjust.”
Young Wright cautioned that new owners should watch their newly adopted animals closely during the first few weeks of the adjustment period.
“It doesn’t know these people. It doesn’t know it’s their new home. The dog may door dash out the front door. The dog may jump over the fence. The dog may dig under the fence. We strongly urge people year-around to watch the dog closely for the first few weeks, go out
holding the dog’s leash in the yard, don’t let it go out there alone, don’t leave it out there alone. With small dogs, we urge caution with doggie doors because of all of the predators in the area, hawks, owls, coyotes, bobcats,” Young Wright said.
Since opening in September 2021, Rescue Me Marana has adopted out more than 570 animals.
At their facility, they have eight cat condos, five small dog kennels and five large dog suites.
Pets that come to them become part of the system for different reasons, including illness of the owner or pet, the death of an owner and life changes such as di-
vorce. Many are also rescued as strays.
The facility works with rescue organizations such as Valley Humane Society, High Desert Humane Society and Pima Paws for Life.
Young Wright said many people are looking for smaller breeds, such as Poodles or terrier mixes, which can be more difficult to find at shelters.
When potential pet owners can’t find the right fur friend at the adoption center, they referred to other rescue organizations. They can also learn more about breed-specific rescues and responsible dog breeders.
“We find that people just need a little information and a little time, and we are happy to spend that with them. We do that every day in person, on the phone and by Facebook,” Young Wright said.
There have been many positive stories that have come out of Rescue Me Marana.
A blind orange tabby cat named Nacho was adopted by a mother/daughter duo, who were looking for a cat that “needed” to be rescued, that they could spoil. The cat had been discounted by many potential adopters because of his blindness.
Another cat named Carmen was overlooked because of the stigma associated with black cats. A family had been watching her through the organization’s social media channels and decided to adopt her. She is now the “queen of her castle” and goes by the name Little Miss Chloe.
Many of the pets that come through the organization have had tough lives, but their personalities shine through and make them great pets.
Teddy was the outcast of his litter and had been ignored and possibly abused.
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 16 DECEMBER 15, 2022 2022 GIVING GUIDE
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FROM PAGE 16
He was taken in by Pima Paws for Life, receiving love and care, and then adopted through Rescue Me Marana. At the shelter, his personality and “striking good looks” made him a favorite amongst volunteers.
Often, the volunteers will put in extra time, walking, spending time with and starting to train dogs.
By sharing images of day trips Felix took with a volunteer to a splash pad, park and home, the facility found a family for the great dane/bulldog mix. He was hard to place because of his size and energy, but volunteers could tell he was a “very good boy” with a great deal of potential.
Often, the organization will adopt out bonded pairs, which can be more difficult to find homes for because they need to be kept together.
Alpha and Montana were a shy Shepherd mix brother/sister duo that came to the adoption center when they were puppies. Volunteers helped to social them, teach them tricks and teach them how to play for the first time. They found a loving home with a couple that was grieving the loss of their dogs due to age-related illnesses and looking for new fur friends to shower with love.
Dogs must leave the facility on a collar or a leash. If owners didn’t bring one, they are available for purchase. The organization also sells toys and treats, and profits help to support their mission.
Teddy is one of the dogs who has been able to find a forever home through Rescue Me Marana. (RESCUE ME MARANA/SUBMITTED)
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 17 DECEMBER 15, 2022 2022 GIVING GUIDE
Mobile Meals serves nutritional meals, conversation
By Ken Abramczyk Tucson Local Media Contributor
WITH FOOD INSECURITY FACING THOUSANDS
in Pima County, Mobile Meals of Southern Arizona drops off lunch and dinner five days a week to the tune of 500 meals a day, or 110,000 meals annually to homebound individuals and seniors.
Founded in 1968 with a grant from Meals on Wheels, a core group of volunteers continued the service once the grant ended two years later. The organization evolved into Mobile Meals of Southern Arizona. The volunteers’ visits are two-fold – to meet nutritional needs of the clients and socialize with them.
“The meals are prepared by local hospitals and are designed according to the medical needs of the client,” said Robert Jensen, CEO. Mobile Meals offers 10 diet-specific meals to address various health issues or dietary recommendations, including cardiac, diabetic, renal, cancer support, soft foods, low sodium, low sugar, low fat and others.
“These meals are delivered by a team of 400 volunteers that do a wellness check on our clients every day,” Jensen said. “Many times, our volunteers are the only contact these folks get.” In MMVA’s most recent sur-
vey, the delivery drivers were the favorite service of the clients. “MMVA is 50% nutrition and 50% compassion,” Jensen said.
A PERSONAL CONNECTION
Volunteers ensure that clients receive a friendly visit, a moment to talk to a real person face-to-face and a wellness check on necessities, such as running water, a home in decent repair or use of other utilities. If the client has issues with one of these items, MMVA connects the client to other community organizations to assist them.
MMVA delivers to anyone with a need and an address. “Because of many health issues related to aging, our clients tend to be elderly individuals,”
When a client is referred to MMVA, MMVA conducts an interview, typically by phone, to assess the individual. A nutritionist is consulted to choose a diet. Meals are priced on a sliding scale, depending on income. “Those with little to no income received the meals for
Hunger doesn’t take a holiday.
A meal delivery from Mobile Meals is nutritious but mostly life-saving.
Your financial support provides nutritious meals and a wellness check 5-days a week delivered by compassionate volunteers to homebound, low-income seniors, and individuals with disabilities or health issues, unable to shop or cook for themselves. Your donation helps those in critical need of food, one meal at a time.
Gifts of up to $400 per individual and $800 per couple are eligible for the state tax credit, so it’s like giving to Mobile Meals for free!
Call (520) 622-1600 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 18 DECEMBER 15, 2022 2022 GIVING GUIDE
Mobile Meals of Southern Arizona is a 501(c)(3) and a qualifying charitable organization (QCO #20445)
Use the QR code to donate online before December 31, 2022.
SEE MEALS PAGE 20
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 19 DECEMBER 15, 2022 Your gift today helps build a healthy, hunger-free tomorrow— and you may receive a tax credit for your generosity! MAKE YOUR GIFT TODAY communityfoodbank.org/tax-credit Make your tax dollars matter! Salute our men and women in service Active Duty/Reserve • Civilian Employees Military Retirees Reach Davis-Monthan community with Arizona’s premier military publication Times publishing Media liated Force States JULY/AUGUST 2022 Remembering Davis-Monthan Flying Beyond Expectations Remembering the life of Tuskegee Airman ‘Time Will Glossy Magazine Style For more information or to reserve your space, Call your sales consultant today or 520.797.4384
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free, and the price progresses up to $5 a meal for those with an adequate income but a need for the meals or a special diet.”
Some clients are long-term, as the service enables them to stay in their home and not need to enter an assisted living facility. Others may only need the meal service temporarily as they recover from surgery or an illness.
MMVA expects to increase services “four-fold” with the opening of a new kitchen at the former El Indio restaurant. Once the facility undergoes $600,00 in renovations to accommodate new administrative offices and a remodeled kitchen at the 4,500-square-foot building, the renovation of the new digs will allow more clients to be served and more meal choices, allowing MMVA to conduct emergency feedings, catering, and expand the nonprofit’s footprint geographically and demographically. Donors can help with the funding campaign by visiting the MMVA website.
Jensen said the new kitchen will allow the Dining with Dignity program to begin. Local chefs will prepare one of their favorite recipes to be showcased for the entire month. “So even though you may not be able to leave your house to go to a nice restaurant, we will bring that restaurant’s food to you,” Jensen said. “As you age and your health begins to decline, you don’t have many choices you can control. But you can control what you eat. So, we are going to give you that choice and quality, and increase the dignity of your dining.”
Volunteers will now have a gathering place to mingle with other
volunteers and the MMVA team. Currently, volunteers pick up meals at the loading docks of hospitals. “They have very little interaction among themselves due to these conditions. Now they will be able to sit in the volunteer café, and get a cup of coffee or tea, nibble on foods put out by the chef, such as fruit or veggie trays. They will be able to build relationships with like-minded volunteers.”
DONORS SEE RESULTS
MMVA is funded by private donors, foundations and local corporate partners. The nonprofit writes grants to city, county, state and federal governmental agencies and private foundations.
Donors also can see all facets of the organization in full swing. “They can meet the volunteers, talk with their operations team and see the food being prepared. They will see the fruits of their labor up close and in person.”
Residents can register for meal service, donate or to volunteer at the website at mobilemealssoaz.org. They can also call 520-622-1600.
The 400 volunteers primarily perform the meal deliveries. “It is the best volunteering gig in town,” Jensen said. “You pick one day of the week, you drive your own car, listening to your own tunes from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and you deliver nutrition and smiles. We also have office volunteers that do typical office duties such as filing, calling clients, etc. With the opening of our new kitchen facility, we will also have volunteering opportunities to prep food in the kitchen.”
A key determinant of health in addition to adequate nutrition is socialization, Jensen said. “According to the National Institute of Aging, social isolation and loneliness has been linked to a variety of physical and mental conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease and death,” Jensen said. As volunteers meet with clients, relatives who often live in other parts of the country are reassured that loved ones are being cared for, he said.
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 20 DECEMBER 15, 2022 2022 GIVING GUIDE
At Handi-Dogs we help people by providing specialized training to people and their dogs to enhance their independence and quality of
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is Tucson’s only Assistance Dogs International affiliate and professional service dog training organization. Please contact us for more information Visit www.Handi-Dogs.org or call (520) 326-3412 The Handi-Dogs Training Facility is located conveniently off Broadway at Kolb at 75 S. Montego Drive, Tucson, AZ 85710 AZ Tax Credit Organization – Use QCO code: 20640 EIN #95-3247091 Handi-Dogs is a 501(c)(3) tax deductible charitable organization MEALS FROM PAGE 18
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TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 21 DECEMBER 15, 2022 2022 GIVING GUIDE
Strategies for year-end giving in 2022
By Jenny Flynn Special to Tucson Local Media
IF PLANNING YOUR YEAR-END
giving feels more difficult this year, you are not alone.
The giving season is one of my favorite times of year. The opportunity to talk about the causes that are particularly important to each person – and then identify local nonprofit organizations that are making a difference in the area – is an annual tradition that brings special meaning to our family year-end holiday celebrations.
Inflation has made it more difficult for families to make ends meet and cover everyday essentials like groceries and gas. The need for services provided by our local nonprofits remains significant, especially for the more vulnerable members of our community.
On the other side, market declines and inflation have made 2022 a more chal-
lenging year for many of us to fulfill our annual giving objectives to the nonprofit organizations that provide critical support to families in need. Most of us are
feeling the pinch, and the margins are incredibly small for everyone as we look to an uncertain economy in 2023.
Simply put – there is a lot of need and not as many resources this holiday season.
If you are like many of the community members I’ve spoken with recently, you are still looking for ways to support the organizations you care about and that rely on your support to achieve their missions. Here are some of the giving strategies that we are talking about right now with our team of professional advisors.
GIVE UNRESTRICTED GIFTS
Like all local businesses, nonprofits continue to navigate the uncertainties of a post-COVID-19 world, with staff and volunteer shortages and inflation further complicating their service delivery models. It is vital that the nonprofits our
community relies on for support receive the kind of financial support they need to respond to changing community needs. Flexibility helps each dollar go further. When you give a nonprofit an unrestricted gift, you will be providing the type of support that sustains nonprofits and creates opportunities for nonprofits to direct their energy into fulfilling their mission.
DONATIONS OF APPRECIATED STOCK ARE STILL A WIN-WIN
Not every stock is down, and it can still be extremely tax-efficient to donate appreciated stock to your favorite nonprofit – just make sure they are equipped to receive and process a gift of securities. Another option is to use that donation to replenish or establish a donor advised
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 22 DECEMBER 15, 2022 2022 GIVING GUIDE
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SEE STRAEGIES PAGE 23
fund. Establishing a donor advised fund with a contribution of appreciated stock can help you maximize the tax benefits of your donation, streamlines your charitable giving recordkeeping moving forward, and still allows you to support your favorite local charities with a year-end gift.
When you give appreciated stock held for more than one year (a long-term capital asset) to your donor-advised or another type of fund, instead of selling it outright, you avoid capital gains tax. Plus, marketable securities are typically deductible at their fair market value, further helping your overall income tax situation.
DON’T OVERLOOK ARIZONA’S TAX CREDIT OPPORTUNITIES
Arizona has a variety of charitable tax-credit opportunities that allow you to receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for donations to schools, qualified charitable organizations, and organizations that support children in foster care, among others.
You can view information about the various tax-credit opportunities and lists of approved organizations at https:// azdor.gov/tax-credits.
QUALIFIED CHARITABLE DISTRIBUTIONS OFFER SPECIAL BENEFITS
If you are over 70 1/2, a Qualified Charitable Distribution (“QCD”) is a very smart way to support the nonprofits you care about here in Southern Arizona. Through a QCD – also sometimes called an IRA charitable rollover – you can direct up to $100,000 from your IRA to local charities. If you are over 72, QCDs also count toward your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) for the year. That means you avoid income tax on the distributed funds.
Our team at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona (CFSA) can work with you and your advisors to go over the rules for QCDs and evaluate whether the QCD is a good fit for you.
Although IRA distributions cannot be contributed to a donor advised fund, they offer an opportunity to reduce your taxable income while supporting a specific
nonprofit or area of interest, including the initiatives and funds at CFSA, such as our Civic Leadership Fund, Greatest Need Fund, Healthy Communities Fund, Environmental Sustainability Impact Fund, or African American Legacy Fund.
To make a Qualified Charitable Distribution from your IRA to a nonprofit, I recommend starting the process as soon as possible to ensure that your gift is received and processed on or before Dec. 30, 2022.
WE ARE HERE TO SUPPORT YOU
Please don’t hesitate to call or email our team if you need help determining how to best support local efforts to create a vibrant and equitable community for all Southern Arizonans. You can reach us at 520-770-0800 or by email at giving@ cfsaz.org. As always, we recommend connecting with your legal and financial advisors for specific information regarding your individual situation.
This holiday season, please give the gift of generosity. Together, we can continue to support the vital nonprofit organizations in our community that enrich our lives and make Tucson a special
place to live.
To learn more about CFSA’s services and impact, visit cfsaz.org.
Jenny Flynn is president and chief executive o cer of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona.
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 23 DECEMBER 15, 2022 2022 GIVING GUIDE
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Arizona law (A.R.S. 43-1089.01) allows taxpayers to receive a tax credit of up to $200 for a single individual or a head of household and $400 for a married couple filing a joint return for donations that benefit students in our public schools. That’s not just a deduction, it’s a tax credit - it reduces what you owe in state taxes, dollar-for-dollar.
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By Veronica Kuffel Tucson Weekly Contributor
DURING THE HOLIDAYS,
Ballet Tucson dancers don their ribboned pointe shoes to perform “The Nutcracker” with remarkable prowess.
But unlike other years, this performance welcomes a match made in Tucson arts heaven. Their upcoming winter show is a partnership with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, thanks to the efforts of the James H. and Frances R. Allen Family Foundation.
The company has a long tradition of performing the show, and for many of those years, they used professional recordings to back up their dancers. As a School of Ballet Tucson alum and an accomplished former dancer, Artistic Di-
rector Margaret Mullin said the orchestra’s involvement enhances the show.
“Energetically, it’s so much more powerful to have life onstage and life in the pit all radiating out to the audience,” Mullin said.
Tucsonans can expect the same show, with just a few choreographic updates and live music. To Tucson Symphony Orchestra CEO and President Paul Meecham, it was the perfect way to change things up for the holidays.
“It was serendipity,” Meecham said regarding the initial conversation. “We were looking for things to do that perhaps were different to what we were doing before the pandemic.”
From left to front, Skylar Burson, Jennifer Holoubek and Alexis Collins practice during rehearsal for their upcoming performance of “The Nutcracker.” (NOELLE HARO-GOMEZ/CONTRIBUTOR)
len endorse the show in memory of their daughter, Kimberlee Allen. They understand and appreciate the element of live
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 17 DECEMBER 15, 2022
The partnership would not have formed without the collective efforts of the Allen Family Association, longtime supporters of Ballet Tucson and Tucson Symphony Orchestra. James H. and Frances R. Al- SEE NUTCRACKER PAGE 18
BALLET TUCSON, TSO COLLABORATE ON ‘THE NUTCRACKER’
music with ballet, and want to see their family tradition go further.
“We feel that it is important that the performing arts organizations here in Tucson collaborate to bring world-class performances to Tucson,” the Allens said in a statement.
“That is why we are sponsoring both Ballet Tucson’s holiday performances of ‘The Nutcracker’ at the Linda Ronstadt Music Hall and also the Tucson Symphony Orchestra to play Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score to accompany the dancers and create the magic only live music can provide.
“It is important to note that all of our performing arts organizations here in Tucson rely not only on ticket sales but also the generosity of the community, individual contributors and sponsors to thrive and greatly enrich our lives here in our beautiful and very special small desert community.”
Mullin added that the foundation’s contribution, however, has another special reason.
“They’re not just sponsoring ‘The Nutcracker,’ they are sponsoring our
partnership with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra,” Mullin said. “They believe it is important for arts in our communi-
ty to be collaborative and for all of us to be coming together to provide inspiring arts experiences to Tucson.”
Ballet Tucson’s “The Nutcracker” is its biggest production of the year. The company is adding some new choreography and is working behind the scenes on extravagant sets and props and elaborate costumes. Ballet Tucson prides itself on a more traditional take of the show, following the 19th century German timeline.
Every element is upheld to historically accurate standards — the party scenes and the adults and children in them are rooted in the 1800s. The land of sweets is whimsical but in the spirit and tone of its traditional design.
Generations of thespians have helped the company put on this show, most with a history of performing with Ballet Tucson. Many of the costumes, including the nutcracker, rat king and sugar plum fairy, were made and remade out of love for decades.
With the design elements in check, everything is appropriately “tied into the musical tone” of the dances, and the orchestra will guide audiences further into the realm of The Nutcracker.
“It’s a dream for us to not only have live music but to partner with the Tucson
Symphony Orchestra. They’re a wonderful organization, their musicians are very talented,” Mullin said.
The organization is the first professional symphony orchestra in the Southwest and the oldest art institution in Arizona. Tucson Symphony Orchestra performs highly skilled and award-winning shows and engages the community through education and outreach.
A big part of this includes working with other organizations to bring something extra special to Tucson. To Meecham, it’s a way to help audiences explore artistic expressions.
“It’s that cross-pollination of audiences, which I think is very exciting,” he said.
“It can lead to those audiences pursuing each company separately or further collaboration.”
While Ballet Tucson practiced “The Nutcracker” for months, TSO had a much shorter timeline. Preparation for the show began well in advance, but the rehearsal was condensed into a week.
This is common for the orchestra, especially with music it has played before.
For TSO, “The Nutcracker” is, as Meecham put it, “in our fingers.”
“These kinds of partnerships are crucial to expanding the impact of what we as individual organizations can do. I think that’s good for the quality of the arts in Arizona,” Meecham said.
This will be the first year of a multiyear partnership between Ballet Tucson and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra for “The Nutcracker.”
“To be responsible for creating a magical moment in people’s lives and to do so in a community-minded way is really a gift,” Mullin said. “I’m very grateful to be a part of this exciting new partnership and to share this beautiful tradition with my hometown of Tucson.”
WHEN: Various times Thursday, Dec. 22, to Saturday, Dec. 24 WHERE: Linda Ronstadt Music Hall, 260 S. Church Avenue, Tucson COST: Tickets start at $40 INFO: ballettucson.org
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 18 DECEMBER 15, 2022
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Ballet Tucson’s Artistic Director Margaret Mullin. (NOELLE HARO-GOMEZ/CONTRIBUTOR)
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By Xavier Otero Tucson Weekly Contributor
MARK YOUR CALENDARS…
THURSDAY, DEC. 15
Tracing the evolution of doo-wop from the classic sound of four or five guys singing harmonies on a street corner in the 1940s to the biggest hits by vocal groups on the radio today, The Doo Wop Project: Holiday Show comes to pass at the Fox Tucson Theatre… Local psychedelic experimentalists Matarraz express “Space Aged Soul” at Club Congress. Special guests New Misphoria and Bush League open… Singer-songwriter Joe Peña’s confessional songs bear enough heart to prompt St. Peter to give this sinner a pass. He performs his signature twangy, bluesy dark Americana and rock at Tap & Bottle Downtown… Virginia Cannon presents Thursday Night Live: A weekly singer-songwriter showcase. The latest installment highlights the talent of the Kiko Jácome Trio, Malcolm June, Sunny Gable, Renay Burger, Aaron Burger, Little Cat and Firekid (of Tonight’s Sunshine) at the Monterey Court…
FRIDAY, DEC. 16
“To believe in mariachi means having a passion for life itself,” said Jóse Hernàndez, a fifth-generation Mariachi musician. He leads the world-renowned Mariachi Sol De México through a holiday program that has become an Old Pueblo tradition. Merry-Achi Christmas unfolds at the Fox Tucson Theatre… Known as “the godfather of hardtrap,” SayMyName is an inﬂuential figure in EDM. Having roots in the greater Los Angeles area, SayMyName came up in a musical family. After graduating from Chapman University, he took a job at Guitar Center. He spent his spare time in the studio experimenting, eventually fusing together trap and hardstyle to arrive at his signature sound. SayMyName gets “Loco” at Gentle Ben’s… Emerging in the early ’90s, pianist and composer Ethan Iverson — whose style touches upon sophisticated classical, post-bop, and indie rock — released a handful of solo albums, before co-founding The Bad Plus with bassist Reid Anderson and drummer Dave King. In 2022, he made his Blue Note debut with “Every Note Is True.” On the first of two nights, the Ethan Iverson Trio perform at The Century Room… Like the aroma of a mouthwatering seafood gumbo wafting through the air, The Mu ulettas fill the Monterey Court
with their funky, brass-laden New Orleans sound…
SATURDAY, DEC. 17
Celebrate the holidays with a multicultural, uniquely Tucson event. On the first of two dates, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra: Happy Holidays ¡Feliz Navidad! — features performances by the Tucson Girls Chorus, the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus, Mariachi Aztlan de Pueblo High School and Compañía de Danza Folklórica Arizona — comes to life at The Linda Ronstadt Music Hall… Madball originated in the late 1980s as a side project of Agnostic Front. The New York City beatdown hardcore punks have endured numerous lineup changes in the ensuing years. Co-produced by Tim Armstrong of Rancid, “For the Cause” is Madball’s most recent album, released in 2018. As to their longevity, Madball said, “We don’t know how to do anything else at this point. We raise our families to the best of our ability. We do Madball to the best of our ability. So far so good, and we don’t feel that we’ve reached our full potential in either of those areas yet.” Madball “Set It Off ” at The Rock. Special guests The World open… Local Love presents Festivus — featuring performances by Something Like Appropriate, Then When, Armando Moreno & The Revival, Diluvio, Nocturnal Theory, Los Streetlight Curb Players, and Orchadia — at the Rialto Theatre… Bring in the holidays with proper roots reggae, dub, and dancehall. ZeeCeeKeely and friends — Herb N’ Life, Chris Bowen Vibes, In Certain Truth and Class Acts — spread irie vibes for The Holidaze Bash at Hotel Congress Plaza… “Tucson post-country weirdos,” Hank Topless & The Dead Horsemen play their signature brand of hardscrabble honky-tonk/hard country-blues — with special guest Katie Mae — on the patio at Che’s Lounge…
SUNDAY, DEC. 18
On Christmas in 1914, along the Western Front — a 400-mile stretch of land weaving through France and Belgium — approximately 100,000 British and German troops, acting with great courage, vanquishing fear, put down their guns. Out of the silence, came a song. A German soldier stepped into the no man’s land between frontlines to sing “Stille Nacht” (“Silent Night”). The British responded with a carol. Thus began a previously inconceivable night of camaraderie, music, peace. The heroes of this remarkable story are the lowest of the
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 20 DECEMBER 15, 2022
SEE XOXO PAGE 21
ranks: the young, the hungry, the cold, and the optimistic. From the Twin Cities, Theater Latté Da presents All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 at the Fox Tucson Theatre… In a holiday fundraising event for Planned Parenthood and Southern Arizona’s American Heart Association, The eighth annual Arroyo Café: Old Pueblo Holiday Radio Show — featuring Dave Fitzsimmons & The Arroyo Cafe Players, Rob Resetar & Sheryl Anne Mckinley, The Cadillacs and Grandsons of The Pioneers — hits the airwaves, metaphorically, from the Rialto Theatre… In a special presentation and performance event Grammy Award-winning author and jazz historian Ashley Kahn — focusing on John Coltrane’s 1965 masterpiece, “A Love Supreme” — discusses John and Alice Coltrane’s impact on the art form and the timeless message of spiritual jazz. The presentation will be followed by a Coltrane inspired performance by saxophonist Brice Winston & Outward Bound at The Century Room… Award-winning folk singer-songwriter, guitarist/ukuleleist Wally Lawder & Acoustic Sky present their eighth annual Holiday Show — with special guests Ste Kayser, Don Armstrong, and the Prime Time Dancers — at the Monterey Court… Southern Arizona Blues and Heritage Foundation present Southbound Pilot. Fronted by vocalist Vasanta Weiss, they are next to host the Congress Cookout. Strains of swampy, jazz-inﬂected blues rock shall intertwine in the air with the toothsome on the plaza at Hotel Congress… Enshrouded in mystery, pianist Chris Peña presents The Peña Project at Pastiche Modern Eatery…
MONDAY, DEC. 19
Club Whutever finds DJs Bonus and PC Party chasing the ever-fickle muse at Club Congress…
TUESDAY, DEC. 20
Mixing Jimmy Carr’s gruff blues vocals with the sounds of gypsy jazz, Americana, klezmer, classical — and elements lifted straight from the repertoire of a high school marching band from Anytown, USA — the byproduct lies somewhere in the middle between Gogol Bordello and Slavic Soul Party. Renowned for their improvisational dexterity, Jimmy Carr & The Awkward Moments Big Band
present The Merry December Show — featuring violinists Jenna Christina and Samantha Bounkeua, trumpeter Tony Rosano, Johnny O’Halloran on guitar and singing saw, drummer Javier Garcia, Carr on piano and accordion, plus bunnies, dancers and puppets — at The Century Room… Sisters helping sisters. In a special holiday event benefitting Sister José Women’s Center, musician, force of nature performer, and bandleader Connie Brannock presents A Connie Christmas at Club Congress…
WEDNESDAY, DEC. 21
Since pummeling their way onto the scene with 1994’s seminal album “Burn My Eyes,” new wave of American heavy metallists Machine Head have established themselves in the metal world as a bulldozer that crushes all in its path. Machine Head present their 2022 release, “Øf Kingdøm and Crøwn” — “a dystopian tale of existential torment and horrifying violence that tells the tumultuous tale of two troubled protagonists whose lives entwine, with deeply unpleasant consequences” — at The Rock… Tucson native, bassist Rene Camacho, relocated to LA in 1996 after earning a degree in jazz studies and composition from the UA. Since then, he has amassed an impressive resumé, having toured or recorded with numerous artists of note, including work with Celia Cruz, Sergio Mendes, Ry Cooder, Angelique Kidjo, Linda Ronstadt, Rickie Lee Jones, Juan Gabriel, Poncho Sanchez, WAR and many others. In a very special concert event Camacho joins Latin powerhouse Zona Libre through a fiery mezcla of salsa, merengue and bachata at The Century Room…
Until next week, XOXO…
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 21 DECEMBER 15, 2022
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For the latest news and updates .com go to
CLAYTOONZ By Clay Jones
‘yes and’ philosophy.
“Once the show starts, any semblance of control I might have had over is out the window because this group is nuts. They respond to whatever the audience gives them. It’s almost like pulling a rip cord on an old lawnmower. I just pull it. Then I order a drink and I ring the bell all night.”
Paschke-Wood emphasized that Hoffman’s contribution to the audience experience is nevertheless considerable. The cast performs within a stage picture that’s impeccably designed, built and painted to both imitate and parody the set of the original show. The set’s visual and mechanical effects propel the show’s energy over the top.
“The stage picture always looks incredible,” she said, “But that’s part of David’s design background. So, you know, the fonts are all good.” Then she laughed about having rendered such exalted praise of typefaces.
Hoffman is that kind of detail guy. He also helps members tweak the quirks in their characters for maximum comic effect. “In the beginning when you’re making a character, you have a lot of little details that you think are important,” he said. “Eventually the details just become part of your inner backstory and you just are the person.
“Chatty Kathee was in Up with People for 20 years and was very competitive when she played the games.” That background makes her convincingly bossy about “the rules.”
Further illustrating his collaboration, Hoffman cited another ensemble mem-
ber whose character defines everything they do. “Oasis Kimmelman is a 17-yearold miserable goth girl,” he said. “The only reason she is on the game show is to fulfill community service requirements from Pima County Juvenile Court.”
Asked what new audience members can expect to see in the Dec. 17 show, Hoffman said, “The last several shows have just absolutely underscored how strong the ensemble is. The humor, everybody’s on the same page. And that includes the audience. I mean, the audience engagement is a huge factor in this.”
Hoffman said players banter with the audience throughout, and the trick for audience members to get the most attention, he says, is to drop their names into a “big, red sparkly box” and play for “stratospheric fame and questionable prizes.”
“Retro Game Show Night” All-Star 11Year Anniversary Show, 6 p.m. doors, 7 p.m. show, Saturday, Dec. 17, Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress Street, hotelcongress.com/family/clubcongress, $15, reservations online or by calling 520-622-8848. Open seats and standing room may be available the night of the show,
‘KEEP TUCSON SKETCHY’ MOVES TO COZIER QUARTERS
Cushy upholstered seats, first-class tech and scads of free parking can now be among the many things we love about “Keep Tucson Sketchy,” the city’s answer to “Saturday Night Live.” They will greatly improve the audience experience starting Saturday, Dec. 17.
That’s when “Keep Tucson Sketchy” moves its traditionally house-packing
show to a new venue, the 100-seat Unscrewed Theater, 400 E. Speedway Boulevard.
The “KTS” gang will kick things off there with a massive ensemble of sketch writers, actors and production folks. Cast members include Kurt Lueders, Frank Powers, Sara Mirasola, Collin Chomiak, Caleb Cline, Katie Cocchi, Tom Cracovanor, Allana Erickson-Lopez, Joel Foster, Rich Gary, Nicolette Gudenkauf, Rory Monserat, Jen Blanco-Thomas, Franki Lopez and Eli WT.
The musical guest is Kate Ewing, the show’s host is Daniel Kirby, who teaches two levels of sketch at Tucson Improv movement (TIM) and performs with TIM’s premier team, “The Soapbox.”
Keep Tucson Sketchy, 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, Unscrewed Theater, 4500 E. Speedway Boulevard, eventbrite. com, $10 presale, $15 door
MORE COMEDY THIS WEEK
Harambe Café, 6464 E. Tanque Verde Road, 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, Eventbrite. com, $20 includes medicated drinks and dabs, $50 VIP includes all that and samples. “A Dab of Comedy:” Phoenix comic Keeley Wolf hosts Tara Shakespeare, Roxy Merrari, Mo Kitazumi and Thomas Lee Eskin.
The Screening Room, 127 E. Congress Street, 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, Eventbrite. com, $8 presale, $10 at the door, “The Downtown Comedy Show” headlined by top Tucson comedian Pauly Casillas, featuring Paul Fox and Allana Erickson-Lopez with host Chris Quinn.
performed at the White House, has much more up his sleeve than tableside tricks. Expect a classic, comic murder mystery combining magic with a live, theatrical performance, all up close in the intimate space of Dante’s inferno.
6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec 16, and Friday, Dec. 23, Dante’s Fire, 2526 E. Grant Road, eventbrite.com, $49, $75 VIP includes a three-course meal
PRESIDIO DISTRICT GASTRONOMY TOUR
What luck that within an afternoon it’s possible to get a handle on, and get a
taste of, what it means to be the country’s first UNESCO City of Gastronomy. Three of the best examples are within walking distance of the Presidio San Agustín del Tucsón. Enjoy unforgettable fusions of Old and New World ingredients at El Charro Café, LaCo Restaurant and Café a la C’art. As you walk among them, an experienced guide will share secret histories of the surrounding area and its historic homes.
12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 21, Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum, 196 N. Court Avenue, tucsonpresidio.com, $125 nonmember; $100 member, pre-registration is required.
La ’s Comedy Ca e, 2900 E. Broadway Boulevard, 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, and Saturday, Dec. 17, laffstucson.com, $15, $20 preferred seating. Darryl Fellsburg is absurdly funny and very large. There could be dad jokes.
The Screening Room, 127 E. Congress Street, eventbrite.com, $15 to $40. 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15, Eventbrite.com, “Gateway Comedy Show.” Stand-up comedians tell their best jokes, then get as high as possible and tell them again. Billy Anderson hosts.
Tucson Improv Movement/TIM Comedy Theatre, 414 E. 9th St. tucsonimprov.com, $7 each show, $10 for both shows, same night, free jam and open mic. Thursday, Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m. Improv 101 Showcase and “Harold Zeta;” 8:30 p.m. Open Mic. Friday, Dec. 16, 6:30 p.m. Improv Jam; 7:30 p.m., “The Soapbox” with rocket scientist and comedian Kurt Lueders; 9 p.m. Stand Up Showcase. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, “Your Favorite Movie Improvised” and “The Meeting;” 9 p.m. “Ugly Sweater Show.”
Unscrewed Theater, 4500 E. Speedway Boulevard, unscrewedtheatre.org, $8, live or remote, $5 kids. 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, Family-Friendly Improv; Saturday, Dec. 17, 1 p.m., Kids Show: “Elves Gone Bad”; 6 p.m., Unscrewed Family Hour with Comic Chaos; 7:30 p.m. Family Friendly Improv; 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, Elves Gone Bad; Monday, Dec.19, 6:30 p.m. Improv Drop-ins, in person and online, free.
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 22 DECEMBER 15, 2022
LAUGHING STOCK FROM PAGE 14 Your Trusted Source for Community News CITY WEEK
Chatty Kathee and Swish Manley prop up the energy. (JIM O’ROARKE/CONTRIBUTOR)
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SURVEYS: AMERICANS BELIEVE MARIJUANA IS SAFER THAN ALCOHOL
By Hope Peters Tucson Weekly Sta Writer
A MAJORITY OF AMERICANS SAY
cannabis — medically and recreationally — is acceptable, according to numerous surveys, including those by Pew Research Center, Monmouth University and Arizona’s NORML.
Published on Oct. 24 by Marijuana Moment, the university’s poll showed most
believe alcohol and tobacco are more dangerous than marijuana.
Arizona’s NORML noted in April that “69% of adults support legalizing marijuana,” and most Americans said, “It’s less harmful than alcohol.” About 69% of respondents support legalization, and that rose to 92% when asked if cannabis
should be permitted for therapeutic purposes.
According to NORML, 65% of survey takers, including 72% of baby boomers, acknowledge having tried cannabis at least once, which is a much higher percentage than has been reported in other national polls.
A Pew Research Center survey reported just “one-in-10 U.S. adults say marijuana should not be legal at all.” To break it down, 10% say marijuana should not be
legal; 30% say cannabis should only be used for medical use; and 59% want to make it legal for medical and adult use.
According to Monmouth University’s national poll, 7% feel marijuana is more dangerous with 54% saying alcohol is more dangerous and 38% of respondents believing alcohol and marijuana are equally dangerous. Regarding tobacco versus marijuana, 13% feel marijuana is
TUCSON WEEDLY TUCSONWEEKLY.COM DECEMBER 15, 2022 24
SEE SURVEY PAGE 25
more dangerous than tobacco, 45% say tobacco is more dangerous and 38% said they are equally dangerous.
Pew Research Center reported the “steep rise in public support for marijuana legalization,” as shown by a separate Gallup survey. Gallup Poll asked whether the use of cannabis should be made legal, “without specifying where it would be legalized for recreational or medical use.” In this year’s poll, 68% of adults say marijuana should be legal, matching the record-high support for legalization Gallup found in 2021. The 2022 Gallup poll highlights who supports it, Gallup writer Jeffery M. Jones reported.
• 68% of U.S. adults favor legalizing marijuana
• Liberal, younger, less religious are most supportive
• Only 32% of conservatives aged 65 and older are in favor
Gallup first asked about legalizing marijuana in 1969; at that time only 12% of Americans were in favor of making it legal. The support increased as time moved on, with 31% supporting cannabis legalization in 2000 and surpassing the majority level at 58% in favor in 2013. Since 2016, at least six in 10 people have been in favor of legalizing marijuana and 68% were in support from 2020 to 2022.
The Gallup poll also charted: Support for Legalizing Marijuana Use, by Age and Political Ideology, Combined 2018-
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Under the “conservatives” heading: Ages 18 to 29, 65% support its legalization; ages 30 to 49, 59% are in support; ages 50-64, 49% are in favor; and 65 to older, 32% support legalization.
For “moderates,” the poll shows 82% are in support for ages 18 to 29; 78% of 30- to 49-year-olds are in favor of legalization; 70% of 50- to 64-year-olds support the legalization; and 62% of the age group 65 to older agree it should be legalized.
“Liberals” are the largest group of people in favor of legalizing cannabis, with 86% of 18- to 29-year-olds in support; 85% of 30- to 49-year-olds are in favor of legalization; 82% of 50- to 64-year-olds support it; and 81% in the age group of 65 and older favor legalization.
The American Addiction Centers editorial staff reported, “While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say people can’t ingest a lethal dose of marijuana, the legality of the substance might not tell the whole story. In fact, alcohol is legal in all 50 states but is responsible for 88,000 deaths every year and 2.5 million years of potential life lost.”
American Addiction Centers reported that the data leaves out the addiction factor. They surveyed over 1,000 people regarding whether alcohol or marijuana is more dangerous and if either one of them should have their legal status changed.
The percentage of those people believing alcohol or marijuana should be illegal is 10.8% for alcohol and 17% for marijua-
na. Those people who didn’t drink alcohol, 38% thought it should be illegal and 30% of people who didn’t use marijuana thought it should be illegal.
In contrast, the survey considered “if only one could be legal,” what was the percentage for each substance. The results reported 43% of people polled would choose alcohol, but 57% would choose cannabis.
Those who don’t drink alcohol (70%) chose to make marijuana legal; 56% who drink alcohol would also choose to make marijuana legal. Of those polled, 62% of people who didn’t use marijuana would choose to keep alcohol legal; 66% who used marijuana would want to make marijuana legal.
According to American Addiction Centers, “Even if ingesting marijuana isn’t deadly, it still can be dangerous.”
The centers state the short-term effects of THC can lead to altered moods, impaired body movement and hallucinations. They also say long-term effects of cannabis can include brain damage, memory loss and cognitive decline. However, their research is still not clear as to whether the effects are permanent.
“Nearly two in three people who used marijuana would choose to make it legal.” However, the report also stated, “Like cannabis, drinking alcohol has dangerous short- and long-term effects.” Drinking too much alcohol “in a single instance or consistently over time, can severely harm the brain, heart, liver, pancreas, and can lead to several forms of cancer,” studies have shown.
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FREE WILL ASTROLOGY
By Rob Brezsny.
RealAstrology.com to check out Rob Brezsny’s EXPANDED WEEKLY HOROSCOPE 1-877-873-4888 or 1-900-950-7700 $1.99 per minute. 18 and over. Touchtone phone required.
ARIES (MARCH 21-APRIL 19)
Aries painter Vincent van Gogh was renowned for translating his sublime and unruly passions into colors and shapes on canvas. It was a demanding task. He careened between torment and ecstasy. “I put my heart and soul into my work,” he said, “and I have lost my mind in the process.” That’s sad! But I have good news for you, Aries. In the coming months, you will have the potential to reach unprecedented new depths of zest as you put your heart and soul into your work and play. And hallelujah, you won’t lose your mind in the process! In fact, I suspect you will become more mentally healthy than you’ve been in a long time.
TAURUS (APRIL 20-MAY 20)
“The soul is silent,” writes Taurus poet Louise Glück. “If it speaks at all, it speaks in dreams.” I don’t agree with her in general, and I especially don’t agree with her in regard to your life in the coming weeks. I believe your soul will be singing, telling jokes, whispering in the dark, and flinging out unexpected observations. Your soul will be extra alive and alert and awake, tempting you to dance in the grocery store and fling out random praise and fantasize about having your own podcast. Don’t underestimate how vivacious your soul might be, Taurus. Give it permission to be as fun and funny as it yearns to be.
GEMINI (MAY 21-JUNE 20)
The coming weeks will be an excellent time to expand your understanding about the nature of stress. Here are three study aids: 1. High stress levels are not healthy for your mind and body, but low to moderate stress can be good for you. 2. Low to moderate stress is even better for you if it involves dilemmas that you can ultimately solve. 3. There is a thing called “eustress,” which means beneficial stress. It arises from a challenge that evokes your vigor, resilience, and willpower. As you deal with it, you feel hopeful and hardy. It’s meaningful and interesting. I bring these ideas to your attention, dear Gemini, because you are primed to enjoy a rousing upgrade in your relationship with stress.
CANCER (JUNE 21-JULY 22)
Long before he launched his illustrious career, Cancerian inventor Buckminster was accepted to enroll at Harvard University. Studying at such a prestigious educational institution was a high honor and set him up for a bright future. Alas, he was expelled for partying too hard. Soon he was working at odd jobs. His fortunes dwindled, and he grew depressed. But at age 32, he had a pivotal mystical experience. He seemed to be immersed in a globe of white light hovering above the ground. A disembodied voice spoke, telling him he “belonged to the universe” and that he would fulfill his life purpose if he applied himself to serving “the highest advantage of others.” How would you like a Buckminster Fuller-style intervention, Cancerian? It’s available if you want it and ask for it.
LEO (JULY 23-AUG. 22)
Leo-born Judith Love Cohen was an electrical engineer who worked on NASA’s Apollo Space Program. She was also the mother of the famous actor Jack Black. When she was nine months pregnant with Jack, on the day she went into labor, she performed a heroic service. On their way to the moon, the three astronauts aboard the Apollo 13 spacecraft had encountered a major systems failure. In the midst of her birth process, Judith Love Cohen carried out advanced troubleshooting that helped save their lives and bring their vehicle safely back to Earth. I don’t expect you to achieve such a monumental feat in the coming days, Leo. But I suspect you will be extra intrepid and even epic in your efforts. And your ability to magically multitask will be at a peak.
VIRGO (AUG. 23-SEPT. 22)
When you’re at the height of your powers, you provide the people in your life with high-quality help and support. And I believe you could perform this role even stronger in 2023. Here are some of the
best benefits you can offer: 1. Assist your allies in extracting bright ideas from confusing mishmashes. 2. Help them cull fertile seeds from decaying dross. 3. As they wander through messy abysses, aid them in finding where the redemption is. 4. Cheer on their successes with wit and charm.
LIBRA (SEPT. 23-OCT. 22)
A blogger named Daydreamydyke explains the art of bestowing soulful gifts. Don’t give people you care for generic consumer goods, she tells us. Instead, say to them, “I picked up this cool rock I found on the ground that reminded me of you,” or “I bought you this necklace for 50 cents at a yard sale because I thought you’d like it,” or “I’ve had this odd little treasure since childhood, but I feel like it could be of use to you or give you comfort, so I want you to have it.” That’s the spirit I hope you will adopt during the holiday season, Libra—as well as for all of 2023, which will be the year you could become a virtuoso gift-giver.
SCORPIO (OCT. 23-NOV. 21)
In 1957, engineers Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes invented three-dimensional plastic wallpaper. No one bought the stuff, though. A few years later, they rebranded it as Bubble Wrap and marketed it as material to protect packages during shipment. Success! Its new use has been popular ever since. I suspect you are in a phase comparable to the time between when their plastic wallpaper flopped and before they dreamed up Bubble Wrap. Have faith in the possibility of there being a Second Act, Scorpio. Be alert for new applications of possibilities that didn’t quite make a splash the first time around.
SAGITTARIUS (NOV. 22-DEC. 21)
I applaud your expansive curiosity. I admire your yearning to learn more and more about our mysterious world as you add to your understanding of how the game of life works. Your greed for interesting experiences is good greed! It is one of your most beautiful qualities. But now and then, there come times when you need to scale down your quest for
fresh, raw truths and work on integrating what you have already absorbed. The coming weeks will be one of those times.
(DEC. 22-JAN. 19)
Better than most, you have a rich potential to attune yourself to the cyclical patterns of life. It’s your birthright to become skilled at discerning natural rhythms at work in the human comedy. Even more fortunately, Capricorn, you can be deeply comforted by this awareness. Educated by it. Motivated by it. I hope that in 2023, you will develop your capacity to the next level. The cosmic flow will be on your side as you strive to feel the cosmic flow—and place yourself in closer and closer alignment with it.
(JAN. 20-FEB. 18)
Anne, a character in a book by L. M. Montgomery, says she prefers the word “dusk” over “twilight” because it sounds so “velvety and shadowy.” She continues, “In daylight, I belong to the world . . . in the night to sleep and eternity. But in the dusk, I’m free from both and belong only to myself.” According to my astrological assessment, you Aquarians will go through a dusk-like phase in the coming weeks: a time when you will belong solely to yourself and any other creature you choose to join you in your velvety, shadowy emancipation.
PISCES (FEB. 19-MARCH 20)
My Piscean friend Venus told me, “We Pisceans feel everything very intensely, but alas, we do not possess the survival skills of a Scorpio or the enough-isenough, self-protective mechanism of the Cancerians. We are the water sign most susceptible to being engulfed and flooded and overwhelmed.” I think Venus is somewhat correct in her assessment. But I also believe you Fishes have a potent asset that you may not fully appreciate or call on enough. Your ability to tune into the very deepest levels of emotion potentially provides you with access to a divine power source beyond your personality. If you allow it to give you all of its gifts, it will keep you shielded and safe and supported.
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In November, the Arizona Dept. of Ed. released letter grades for SY2021-2022. Tucson Unified is proud to share that 49% of our schools earned an A or B grade, 42% of our schools increased their grade from SY2018-2019 (the last year grades were assigned), and the percentage of our schools receiving a D or F dropped from 24% to 11%. For school report cards: https://azreportcards.azed.gov/ TUSD is currently implementing detailed improvement plans for all D and F schools. Please watch for notifications of upcoming public meetings regarding D and F schools on the school webpages.
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DOWN 1 College
26 Boo 27
28 Load 29
as mascara 38 What an investor hopes for 40 Necklace bit 42 ___ flash 45 Stable youth? 46 Orchestrated per formances? 48 It’s shor test at the Equator 49 Buzzes while buzzed? 50 Sclera neighbor 51 Where it’s at 52 “Folded,” in French 53 Comes together 54 Updated, as a kitchen 55 Sizes up DOWN 1 College athletics channel 2 Ties for vaqueros 3 Pigeon pose, for one 4 Opposite of flatline 5 Dark hue named after a type of glassware 6 Dried chili 7 Weaselly animal 8 [Go! The light turned!] 9 Unadon ingredient 10 Mauve relative 11 Excessively admiring 12 “That’s all. Goodbye” 13 When repeated, a 2010s dance move 18 “Might as well tr y” 21 Uncapped? 24 Accelerated, in a way 25 Destination 26 Angler’s supply 27 Currency whose symbol is a B with a ver tical line through it 29 Item often seen in home bathrooms, but rarely in public ones 30 Sebaceous 31 Many a promoter of human rights or voting rights, for shor t 32 Large Hadron Collider org. 33 Place to store some barrels 34 Word with horse or hero 39 They parallel radiuses 40 In book form 41 World-weary feeling 42 Where the piano was invented 43 “For real!” 44 Jacks are male ones 46 Native Canadian 47 Red, maybe 48 Vibed with 49 Feature of some TVs, for shor t PUZZLE BY RAFAEL MUSA Online subscriptions: Today’s puzzle and more than 7,000 past puzzles, nytimes.com/crosswords ($39.95 a year). Read about and comment on each puzzle: nytimes.com/wordplay. TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE AG ES H APP EN MO RA IG UI TY IV EG OT A PLA N CA R SU LL Y ET GP S TA HA IR BO W TW AI N BL UR EO N GA ZE HE LI O CO N AL RI SK EV A TA ME ST DG E HAHA S EM SHAK E EN T LE EM IR EG O LT ES TE PO W Edited by Will Shortz No. 1021 1234 56789 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 Edited by Will Shortz
It’s shortest at the Equator
Buzzes while buzzed?
Where it’s at
“Folded,” in French
as a kitchen
Pigeon pose, for one
Opposite of flatline
Dark hue named after a type of glassware
[Go! The light turned!]
“That’s all. Goodbye”
When repeated, a 2010s dance move
“Might as well try”
Accelerated, in a way
Currency whose symbol is a B with a vertical line through it
Item often seen in home bathrooms, but rarely in public ones
Many a promoter of human rights or voting rights, for short
Large Hadron Collider org.
Place to store some barrels
Word with horse or hero
They parallel radiuses
In book form
Where the piano was invented
Jacks are male ones
Feature of some TVs, for short
Skype with Thanksgiving way
, say light?
of fruit, to seat preceder aspirin prevent that hard maintain
Manhattan pur veyor
“Hold up …”
Make dough from scratch?
Didn’t stay put,
TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 32 DECEMBER 15, 2022