CURRENTS: DUCEY RELENTS ON PIMA COUNTY’S FEMA VAX SITE
APRIL 1 - 7, 2021 • TUCSONWEEKLY.COM • FREE
LOV E YOU LI V E
Local venues ﬁnd ways to celebrate music while staying safe By Jeff Gardner DANEHY: Ducey is Lifting COVID Restrictions Too Soon
CHOW: New Life at the Old Rincon Market
APRIL 1, 2021
APRIL 1, 2021
APRIL 1, 2021 | VOL. 36, NO. 13
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Ducey rescinds COVID restrictions but health officials warn it is too early to let guard down
A whole bunch of candidates are wondering if they should jump into a crowded pool for Congress
Flora’s Market Run is opening in the legendary Rincon Market space
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EDITOR’S NOTE Now Hear This IT’S BEEN WAY TOO QUIET IN THIS town over the last year as our music venues have shut down because it’s too dangerous to squeeze a bunch of people into a small enclosed space for several hours. But as more people get vaccinated and cases decline, we are starting to see musicians return to some of our favorite stages. While we probably won’t see any big acts touring until fall at the soonest, we are seeing some bars, restaurants and other venues start to host outdoor shows again. Associate editor Jeff Gardner takes the stage in this week’s cover story to tell you all about it. Meanwhile, Gov. Doug Ducey is so eager to see people packed into small spaces that he lifted all COVID-19 restrictions on restaurants, bars, movie theaters, gyms and other such spaces. Public health experts are urging Arizonans to continue to mask up and follow other COVID-smart practices, but Ducey’s move will surely lengthen the state’s outbreak. At least Ducey finally caved and stopped blocking Pima County from working with FEMA on a vaccination POD in low-income, minority neighborhoods, although we’re sure he’ll find a way to punish Pima County for making him look bad. Elsewhere in this week’s issue: Staff
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reporter Christina Duran catches up on a big week of COVID news, including reaction to Ducey’s decision to toss all state measure meant to slow the spread of COVID; columnist Tom Danehy says it’s too early to lift those COVID restrictions; guest columnist Morgan Tucker talks about her very challenging pregnancy—and how a bill moving through the Arizona Legislature would have made it more challenging; The Skinny looks at the latest rumors of potential congressional candidates; managing editor Austin Counts finds out what the folks behind Prep + Pastry have planned for the Rincon Market space; Tucson Weedly columnist David Abbott looks at another bad bill involving cannabis at the Arizona Legislature; and there’s plenty more in our pages, from a profile of a WWII vet celebrating his 98th birthday to a roundup for Easter dining options to Tucson’s best horoscopes and cartoons. Sink in and enjoy this issue—but keep those masks on for a while longer! — Jim Nintzel Executive Editor Hear Nintz talk about the latest on the outbreak and other news at 8:30 Wednesday mornings on The Frank Show on KLPX, 91.1 FM.
RANDOM SHOTS By Rand Carlson
Local venues find a variety of ways to celebrate music while staying safe
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Bill would prevent dispensaries from sponsoring concerts, sporting events
Cover photo by Jeff Gardner
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APRIL 1, 2021
A BIG LIFT
Ducey rescinds COVID restrictions but health officials warn it is too early to let guard down By Christina Duran
email@example.com GOV. DOUG DUCEY LIFTED ALL coronavirus restrictions last week regarding local ordinances, businesses and events. Ducey said he would block local jurisdictions from enacting mask mandates, while events of more than 50 people would no longer require permission from local governments. He also said requirements for businesses to limit occupancy and take other steps to reduce the spread of COVID would shift to recommendations and bars could now operate at full capacity. Ducey noted the state’s ongoing vaccination efforts to support his decision; as of Monday, March 29, at least 2 million Arizonans had been given COVID-19 vaccines and 1.2 million were fully vaccinated. In addition, hospitalizations had decreased considerably since the January peak during the winter wave. “Today we are in a different spot and we are also a lot smarter,” Ducey said. “I’m confident Arizona’s businesses and citizens will continue to practice the fundamentals and act responsibly as we gradually get back to normal.” Ducey’s decision drew criticism from some members of the healthcare community. Banner Health, which operates hospitals in Tucson and Phoenix, noted that fewer than 20% of Arizonans were fully vaccinated against the virus and said the number should be higher before easing off mitigation measures. “We all want to return to a more normal way of living, and the best way for us to do this is for everyone to get the COVID-19 vaccine so that we have a high level of herd immunity in Arizona,” the health organization tweeted last week. “We strongly encourage that Arizonans continue to mask in public, avoid large gatherings and get vaccinated as soon as possible. We’d also ask that businesses do the right thing by continuing to implement and enforce masking requirements within their establishments to protect their employees
and patrons.” All University of Arizona COVID-19 mitigation strategies, including face covering, will remain in place, said UA President Dr. Robert C. Robbins. “We are in the fourth quarter of this term, and we need to keep doing what we’ve been doing that’s been so successful and gotten us to this point,” said Robbins in the press briefing Monday morning. “The recent executive order from Governor Ducey, regarding COVID-19 restrictions, does not affect university policies, nor does it bar enforcement of these policies.” ROMERO WON’T LIFT CITY OF TUCSON’S MASK MANDATE TUCSON MAYOR REGINA ROMERO said last week that she has no intention of lifting the local mask mandate for the health and safety of Tucsonans. Romero warned that Ducey’s lifting of restrictions will only “exacerbate community transmission, prolonging the pandemic, and delaying a full reopening of our economy” and that they have clear legal authority to continue implementing the mandate. The City of Tucson’s mask mandate, implemented last summer, was enacted under the powers extended to the city through its 1929 governing charter, including disease prevention. “I know 1929 seems like a long time ago, but at the time the charter provision was included it wasn’t long after the community had experienced the Spanish Flu, when similar measures were put in place at that time,” said Tucson City Attorney Mike Rankin. “It’s not as if it was some theoretical need that the mayor and council might have in order to protect the community. It is a specific authority that the framers of the charter put together, embedded into the charter and that was approved by the voters of the city of Tucson and has remained part of the charter ever since.” Rankin said the city had hoped to work with the county and the state to develop a regional or statewide mandate, but Romero eventually had to go it alone last June.
“It was important to have community protection,” said Rankin. “The mayor’s office and other mayors throughout the state had been working with the governor’s office to try to get these types of protections in place, statewide, and it became clear that that wasn’t going to happen, so ultimately the mayor and council took action and put mask requirements in place in June.” In Ducey’s announcement, he questioned the efficacy of mask mandates and noted that where mandates had been in place, they “have rarely, if ever, been enforced.” Romero said that the mask mandate is enforceable, but the Tucson Police Department has been taking an “educational approach,” encouraging anyone without a mask to wear one, and people can be given written warnings for noncompliance. However, she emphasized that they will not expend resources in ticketing people. “This is for the benefit of the health of our community and not to ‘gotcha’ people,” Romero said. “It is to help them comply with a public health ordinance.” Pima County Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bronson also expressed concern about Ducey’s decision to lift restrictions. “The governor appears to have declared the pandemic over while still retaining his emergency powers to prevent local jurisdictions from protecting the public from a deadly infectious disease,” said Bronson. “We’ve seen this before. He imposed a shutdown order too late in 2020, then lifted it too early and we had the summer spike in infections. He’s making the same mistake and the tragedy of that is more people will needlessly get sick and may die by his reckless action.” Will Humble, the director of the Arizona Department of Health in the Brewer administration and now the executive director of the Arizona Public Health Association, said on his blog: “It’s officially a free-for-all in Arizona now.” Humble said allowing bars to resume regular operations would not have much of an effect on the spread of COVID as local and state authority rarely enforced those regulations. But he said removing the authority of local communities to require masks “will spread the virus more readily.” “Mask wearing has been normalized somewhat and so some people will keep
wearing masks, but they will likely be worn by fewer people now,” Humble wrote. Humble called Ducey’s decision “a grand experiment” and upcoming weeks would determine how it would impact Arizonans. “I don’t expect that today’s decision will result in a large surge in cases nor a hospital crisis,” Humble said. “However, I do expect that herd immunity will be further down the road than it would have been. I have come to expect very little in the way of good decision-making from Gov. Ducey and Director Christ. Today’s order reinforces that sentiment.” PIMA COUNTY EXPANDS VACCINE ELIGIBILITY TO INCLUDE PEOPLE WHO ARE MEDICALLY COMPROMISED PIMA COUNTY EXPANDED COVID-19 vaccine eligibility last week to anyone 55 and older and anyone older than 16 with at-risk circumstances. Anyone living with a high-risk medical condition or disability, experiencing homelessness or living in a group setting, or receiving in-home or long-term care is now eligible for the vaccine. Some of the high-risk medical conditions include cancer, chronic kidney disease, heart conditions or compromised immunity. Those in high-risk jobs will also be eligible. Ducey announced on Monday, March 22, that all Arizona residents older than 16 could get vaccinated at state PODs and private pharmacies, but Pima County’s guidelines had to be limited, said Dr. Theresa Cullen, Health Department director. “We realize that this is not fully aligned with what Gov. Ducey announced earlier this week; however, our decisions are based on the current vaccination rates for 55 and up (which is at 42%), as well as our commitment to ensure ongoing access to vulnerable populations, Cullen said. Cullen said Pima County officials did not have advance notice that the Ducey administration was expanding eligibility. “The state’s decision came as a surprise to us,” said Cullen. “We were not in the discussion and so we heard about it at the same time that you heard about it.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 11
APRIL 1, 2021
CALLING THE SHOTS
Ducey agrees to allow Pima County to work with FEMA on vaccination sites for low-income, minority residents as county and state officials squabble over COVID costs By Christina Duran firstname.lastname@example.org
THE ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF Health Services will allow Pima County to independently work with FEMA to run a federal vaccination POD, as long as it does not impact state allocation, ADHS Director Dr. Cara Christ said last week. The two planned sites, at the Kino Event Center and El Pueblo Neighborhood Center, could vaccinate an estimated 210,000 county residents in low-income and minority neighborhoods, but Gov. Doug Ducey had blocked the sites from opening, saying he’d rather get the vaccine doses sent directly to the state. But Ducey relented last week after local mayors and the Pima County Board of Supervisors asked him to reconsider his
decision and media reports focused on the question of whether Ducey was allowing additional vaccine doses for Pima County to slip away. Christ said a letter was sent before Friday’s media briefing that allows Pima County to work with FEMA. “Pima County has provided their assurances that they will be able to support these sites,” said Christ. “We are hoping that is without having any impact on any of the other currently operating sites or activities that they have planned and to have in writing that FEMA said that this would remain.” Christ outlined several assurances the state would like to allow at the federal vaccination site in the letter to FEMA Acting Regional Administrator Tammy L. Littrell. “To accommodate your offer, and the County’s interest, we are working to
ensure they have delegated authority to independently partner with FEMA on a site if they deem it appropriate for their community so long as it does not result in a reduction of existing vaccine supply to the state or impact state vaccine resources and operations. This should include fulfillment by Pima County and the federal government to provide the resources required by FEMA of state or local jurisdictions in order to have a FEMA-operated vaccination site. These include: • On-site cold chain storage for the vaccine, including emergency backup power to the storage equipment to ensure continuous cold storage in the event of a power disruption. • Pharmacy Operations Support. • Appropriate county medical oversight to ensure compliance with state and county direction. • A Vaccine Registration System, because the state will not be able to support onboarding of a FEMA-operated vaccination site onto the Arizona Vaccine Management System. • Locally contracted communication lines and access (e.g., landline/cellphone and computer/internet). • Wrap-around local support services for the site. • Site security at the vaccination site. “In addition, while not included in the list of requirements provided by your team, the site will need to comply with Arizona immunization reporting requirements, reporting all required vaccination data back to the Arizona State Immunization Information System within 24 hours of administration as required by Governor Ducey’s Executive Order 2021-01,” Christ wrote. Christ noted the state’s hesitancy to authorize the federal vaccination site because of recent experiences with Pima County, citing the county’s request that the state reimburse them for COVID-19 testing during the height of the pandemic and calling
them a “frequent requestor” of administrative staff for vaccination sites. “Given the dramatic financial constraints they claim to experience from these activities, we would like to get written assurance that Pima County and/or the federal government is able to appropriately fund the activities required to operate a FEMA site until reimbursement from FEMA is obtained,” Christ wrote. Pima County Health Department Director Dr. Theresa Cullen received the news about Christ’s letter during her own Friday press briefing and said she was happy to hear about a possible reversal in the decision and hoped to have it in writing soon. “We’ve been doing planning, with the expectation that perhaps a miracle would happen that there’d be a significant change in the decision making,” said Cullen. “I think what it points out, in this case, is this recognition that Pima County itself was very vocal in sharing its concern, and its commitment to get additional vaccine into the county. This can only be a win for us.” Cullen said that while it has been clear to the county and reiterated by FEMA that the federal POD would not affect the federal government’s vaccine allocation to the state, she is unsure whether the state will reduce the county’s allocation because of the FEMA assistance. “Now, is it possible that the state itself could then, subsequently, make a decision about our allocation? Yes,” Cullen said. “We have no transparency into how the state decides what to allow to us.” In discussions with Littrell, Cullen said they discussed the reasons why they would want access to the vaccine and PODs. She told them they “would intentionally focus on improving our access to our vulnerable population” and hoped to show “HHS, FEMA, the state and other jurisdictions, perhaps a more targeted way to do this to reach the more vulnerable populations.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 6
APRIL 1, 2021
The Arizona Legislature is putting care for people like me at risk
By Morgan Tucker email@example.com
MY HUSBAND AND I WERE delighted to learn we were expecting twins just three weeks after our wedding at my “advanced maternal age” of 37. Our joy abruptly dissipated when we discovered that our son had a critical heart defect that was causing blood to pump into his lungs. Continuing to carry him to term presented high risks for him, for his perfectly healthy twin sister, and for me. A bill moving through the Arizona Legislature and closing in on the Governor’s desk is about to make this very difficult situation much harder for everyone involved. Senate Bill 1457 would potentially criminalize the relationship between my doctor and me, and could put every miscarriage, pregnancy complication or procedure like I survived under a legal microscope with your freedom and your doctor’s on the line. After the diagnosis, our doctor explained the selective reduction procedure, warning us that though this procedure was medically quite simple, she only knew of one facility in Arizona that would perform it. Later that evening she called to inform me that this facility could not provide a selective reduction, but she was calling doctors she knew all over the country to find one that could. She said to have my bags packed and be prepared to leave town on a moment’s notice. We knew under the circumstances that this was clearly the safest choice we could be making for our family, though it was the most difficult, traumatic, and emotionally painful decision of our lives. So, as the world was shutting down one year ago I was 20 weeks into my twin pregnancy. We were safely saying goodbye to our son in an operating
room in Los Angeles. This was a simple, quick procedure that the doctor explained to me was the most responsible thing to do. It was a procedure recommended by a doctor, performed by a doctor, in a hospital, in an operating room, because it is health care. Health care as I have known it has never required me to cross state lines (in the onset of a global pandemic) and pay $9,000 upfront and out of pocket. We returned home where I continued to carry our healthy daughter and our dead son for the remaining four months of my pregnancy. My high-risk pregnancy required frequent ultrasounds and stress tests. Since these were usually performed by the technician on duty, there was often a pause when they couldn’t find a heartbeat for “Twin B.” I had to explain the grim situation each time and eventually became detached from my explanation for the sake of their comfort. After initially sharing the exciting news of our twin pregnancy with everyone in our orbit, I struggled a great deal with how to untell that news. I didn’t know how so I just never did it. The Coronavirus Pandemic was raging and everyone was experiencing something scary and unsettling, which allowed me to hide and stay silent about what happened. I felt terrible for finding convenience in the required physical isolation and emotional comfort in the world’s collective grief. I was relieved nobody was gathering, which meant a baby shower was out of the question. I no longer wanted to celebrate my pregnancy. I just wanted to get through it. On July 16 I went into labor and gave birth to our healthy baby girl, “Twin A” as she was (and still is) labeled. I also delivered “Twin B,” or our “demise,” as he was labeled. They were both vaginal deliveries. It was a long, physically and emotionally exhausting day. We were so in love with our
daughter, but we were also silently grieving the loss of our son. While most new mothers are busy sharing their happy news with their loved ones, resting, and nursing their wounds in the hospital, I was presented with a 25-page packet to complete for the death recorder. My husband and I were also immediately required to deliberate over our second decision no parents should ever have to make, did we prefer a burial or cremation? This decision was not in line with our faith and against our best wishes. It was a decision forced on us based on the weight of the fetus. While this is a wonderful option to be able to offer grieving parents, forcing it on us through hospital policy only compounded our grief. I’m glad to know this system is taking care of someone, because I was still very much alive, but not once did anyone pull up a chair and check on my emotional state. Was I alright after carrying and delivering my dead son during a global pandemic? Was I alright as a first time mom with a newborn baby to figure out? I don’t know that I could easily have answered any questions, but it would have been a good idea for a professional to pop in and provide some counseling. We were so fortunate to have our beautiful new baby to distract us, but I had to wonder, is this how Arizona law treats every mother that loses a child? Having judgments and beliefs that weren’t mine imposed on a pregnancy and birth that was mine exponentially stigmatized our trauma and silenced us. Our overall sense of safety and basic human dignity was compromised by the state we love and call home. Though it hasn’t been signed into law yet, there is a piece of SB1457 in every chapter of my pregnancy and birth nightmare. If access to reproductive care is restricted even further, as this bill would ensure, I don’t even want to imagine what the next expectant mother in a situation such as mine will experience. Women must be free to make their own personal medical decisions, safely access the care they need without having to travel across state lines or go bankrupt doing so, and they should be met only with dignity, respect, and care along the way. ■
CALLING THE SHOTS
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
Cullen said it was difficult to change the number of vaccinated Hispanics, and noted that for two to three weeks it remained at about 14%, but changed to 16% as of Friday. Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry thanked Ducey for his “thoughtful reconsideration” of his decision to block Pima County from working with FEMA on the vaccination sites but took issue with some of Christ’s comments regarding Pima County’s requests from the state. On Monday March 29, Huckelberry sent Christ a letter thanking her for the approval for the federal POD, as well as addressing Christ’s statements, questioning Pima County’s ability to fund and maintain the vaccination site. “I would like to correct one misunderstanding. The County has the complete ability to financially sustain COVID-19 related public health activities. We did not bill the State for unapproved costs. We simply asked for a reasonable share of the federal allocation of $416 million to the State for COVID-19 testing. The request has been only to fund the gap between the original Coronavirus Relief Act and January 15, 2021,” Huckelberry wrote. “As we have previously stated, during the pandemic, our County public health agency did not require the approval of the State to conduct COVID-19 PCR testing. We continue to do so and believe it was an appropriate response since this testing took place during the actual peak of infections occurring both in Arizona and the nation.” Huckelberry also stated, the county would not use immunization funding for the POD, despite the federal government approving $66 million for vaccine distribution to the State and said “we continue to maintain that the State’s allocation of $7.1 million to Pima County is inadequate.” As to Christ’s comment on Pima County being a “frequent requestor,” Huckleberry wrote: “It was our understanding that this was to assist the State in the placement of available FEMA Personnel,” and emphasized, “No further assistance from the State will be needed by Pima County in setting up the federal POD.” ■
APRIL 1, 2021
WWII vet celebrates his 98th birthday after beating COVID By Christina Duran firstname.lastname@example.org
COL. RICHARD BUSHONG celebrated his 98th birthday Thursday, March 25, at Pima Air and Space Museum, where he has volunteered for 29 years. Bushong turned 98 on Sunday, March 21, and had no idea of the size of the celebration planned at the Air and Space Museum’s 390th Memorial Museum on Thursday afternoon. “I’d thought they had a birthday cake, but they can’t put 98 birthday candles on it,” said Bushong as he sat under the B-17 bomber he flew during WWII. Bushong first took his oath in April 1943 and went to the Army Air Force Air Service Command Central Test Pilot School in Nashville, Tennessee, where he specifically requested to be a B-17 Pilot. “It’s something I wanted to do, I volunteered for,” said Bushong. By November of 1943, 20-year-old Bushong served as a pilot in the 390th Bombardment Group of the U.S. 8th Air Force, flying missions into Nazi Germany. He was one of the first pilots to perform daylight bombing missions. He still remembers with astounding clarity the nine missions he flew in March 1944, including the first “full daylight raid on Berlin” on March 6. He tells about a bad weather day on March 4, when the 8th Air Force was recalled, yet part of the wing went on to the target, disregarding the recall and “therefore telling the Germans we were coming to Berlin” so that on the March 6 mission, the Germans had moved all their fighters to the northern part of Germany. Bushong said they faced 600 enemy airplanes and he saw about half of them. “That was scary when the enemy airplanes would be coming at you,” said Bushong. “There was a lot of bullets flying globally.” He said they lost 69 heavy bombers that day and 349 of the ones that made it back could not fly the next day. They wiped out the target that day, an electrical equipment manufacturing company (which, coincidentally, Bush-
ong discovered 15 years ago was called Bosch). “They’re still making stuff, but I can guarantee you they’re not making it in that factory,” said Bushong to roaring laughter from everyone joining in the celebration. He said he got back the same day, with his plane all shot up. “I never got back without holes in the airplane, but I got back and survived and went again on the 9th of March, back to Berlin,” said Bushong. He corrected the board in the 390th Memorial Museum, which said they had made four trips to Berlin. He said they only made two; the other two never made COURTESY PHOTO their target. “I never got back without holes in the airplane, but I got back and survived,” said Bushong said he’s learned more since Col. Richard Bushong working at the museum about what he did then than he did when was flying the the 600 enemy fighters. I can’t imagine which is Bushong’s hometown. plane. doing that.” “He’s an American hero, represents Col. Bushong completed 28 missions Bushong retired from the Air Force in the best of us, a member of the greatest by the end of WWII, despite being told 1974 and moved to Green Valley in 1987. generation and we wanted to make sure he would only have to serve 21 missions A year later he walked into the 390th that we were here to wish him a happy and then he could go home. For his last Memorial Museum and looked up at the birthday and celebrate with him and his mission, Bushong received the Distintail of the airplane and said “Well I’ll family and this amazing community on guished Flying Cross for successfully be damned, that’s the outfit I was in in bringing his plane and crew home safely. his accomplishments,” said Juan CisWWII.” comani, senior advisor for regional and On that last mission, Bushong lost two Bushong said he gave his name to the international affairs for the Governor’s engines and with one good engine and guy behind the counter at the time and Office. the other leaking oil they returned to he looked Bushong up in the records. Marana Mayor Ed Honea wanted to England. To make matters worse, he recognize the colonel for his accomplish- The colonel paid $30 to become a memfound on arrival his brakes had failed, but “thanks to good old English mud” as ments, as he served in WWII at the same ber of the museum and started working at the museum in 1992. Last week, he time as Honea’s dad and in the Vietnam Bushong likes to say, they landed safely. realized he has been working there for War at the same time as Honea. He continued to serve after the war 29 years and said he’d retire in another “He served in both conflicts,” Honea ended as a member of the Air Force decade. Reserves, returning to active duty during said. “What an honorable man.” Despite a fight against COVID-19 and Bushong also heard from his fellow the Korean War and performing air airmen. Col. Brian Grasky, commander of heart stent replacement two weeks ago, defense during the Cold War. Bushong the 214th Attack Group in the 162nd Wing Colonel Bushong continues to arrive at also completed a one-year tour of duty work every Thursday and educate others of the Arizona National Guard, came in the Vietnam War, where he flew F-4 on WWII. representing the men and women of his Phantoms. “He lives in our community and really wing, and said he was honored to follow “Thirty-two years and eight days and helps teach the future generations,” said the contrails of Col. Bushong and could I liked every minute of it. It was a great, Sahuarita mayor Tom Murphy, a veteran not imagine doing what he had done. great career,” said Bushong. himself. He thanked the museum for “Today’s warriors, we have tons of At the birthday celebration, Bushong received a commendation from Gov. Du- support, aircraft support, ground, things honoring Colonel Bushong, “because sometimes we do these honors after cey’s office; a virtual call from Sen. Mark on the aircraft that help us when we are people have passed.” flying in enemy territory. We kind of Kelly; and proclamations from various According to the U.S. Department of know what’s coming at us a lot of times,” towns, including Sahuarita (near where Bushong lives at Green Valley’s La Posa- said Grasky. “When you were flying, you Veteran’s Affairs 263 veterans die a day and only 2% of WWII American veterans were flying into what we call ‘the crap.’ da, a senior living community), Marana You were flying into the flat coming up, and even from City of St. Marys, Ohio, are alive today. ■
THE SKINNY APRIL 1, 2021
STALL TACTICS After delaying permission to open FEMA vaccination sites, Gov. Doug Ducey says Pima County can work with feds—maybe Jim Nintzel email@example.com
LATE LAST WEEK, GOV. DOUG DUCEY
reluctantly gave permission for Pima County to work with FEMA to set up vaccination centers in minority and low-income neighborhoods. Why Ducey decided to pick this particular fight remains a mystery. In an effort to get more minority and poor people vaccinated, FEMA has been working with some local authorities to set up vaccination centers with a dedicated supply of doses. Pima County happens to be transitioning to indoor vaccination clinics (as efficient as the drive-thru mass vax sites are, you can’t expect your staff to stand out in triple-degree digits for nine hours as cars roll by) at the Kino Event Center and El Pueblo Neighborhood Center. So it seemed a perfect fit that would help roughly 210,000 more Pima County residents get vaccinated. But after FEMA ran it by Arizona Health Director Dr. Cara Christ, she shot down the idea. Asked about it by KGUN News reporter Valerie Cavazos, Christ said the state didn’t have the resources to help out. That led to a letter from FEMA Acting Regional Administrator Tammy L. Littrell, who diplomatically called bullshit on Christ’s comments to the press: “I am concerned that our conversations earlier this week did not include the reservations outlined yesterday when communicating with the press, so I want to address those in this letter.”
Littrell assured Christ that the FEMA site would not impact Arizona’s current allocation of vaccine; that the federal government was willing to work with the state on establishing the site; and that people would not have to wait four or five hours to get their vaccine. The county released that letter on Wednesday, March 24, just as Ducey came down to Tucson to get his second shot and take a victory lap. But he was visibly irritated that the local press, rather than celebrated his efforts to put vaccines in arms, kept asking him why he was stopping Pima County from getting vaccines into arms. Faced with questions about why he didn’t want to participate in a FEMA program that would cost the state nothing and vaccinate hundreds of thousands of people, Ducey continued to argue that all the vaccine should be his to dole as he pleases. Perhaps realizing how imperious that argument sounded, Christ threw in the towel two days later. Ahead of her Friday press conference, Christ replied to Littrell’s letter with a mix of surrender and petty grievances, arguing that Pima County had been so outrageous as to ask the state to a portion of the $400 million it received from the feds for COVID testing. In a response letter, Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry thanked Christ for reconsidering the opposition to a FEMA vaccination site in Pima County. Huckelberry also sought to “correct one misunderstanding,” saying the county had the ability to financially support the vaccination center with FEMA.
Huckelberry also said the county “had simply asked for a reasonable share of the federal allocation of $416 million to the state for COVID-19 testing.” Huckelberry said the county would continue testing as it remains vital to track the progress of the virus. “No further assistance from the state will be needed in Pima County in setting up the federal POD,” Huckelberry wrote. We won’t be surprised to learn in the weeks to come that the state has cut back on vaccine supplies to Pima County as payback for making a stink about the FEMA clinic. TESTING THE WATERS
A whole bunch of candidates are wondering if they should jump into a crowded pool for Congress A FEW WEEKS AGO, WE TOSSED out a few names of potential candidates for a Southern Arizona congressional seat after Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick said she wouldn’t be seeking another term in 2022. But given that we still don’t know the boundaries of the district—the Independent Redistricting Commission is just getting to work because the Trump administration screwed up the Census—it’s impossible to say at this point whether the district will lean left, lean right or be competitive. Nonetheless, we have seen two candidates launch campaigns in recent weeks and will likely see more. There’s not much harm in exploring the race— you can put your name out there, see how well you can raise money and then decide later this year if the draft maps of the district look promising. The first candidate in the race was state Sen. Kirsten Engel of midtown Tucson. A former attorney with the EPA, Engel now teaches at the UA College of Law when she isn’t lawmaking. Following her out the box was state Rep. Randy Friese, a veteran and trauma surgeon who got his start in politics after helping save the life of Gabby Giffords when she was shot along with 18 others on Jan. 8, 2011. Friese is tight with Team Giffords and told the press he had raised more than $100,000 within a week of announcing his plan to run. But we have heard many names of
other ambitious Democrats circulating: • State Rep. Daniel Hernandez, who was working as an intern for Giffords during that 2011 shooting, was credited with saving her life when he kept pressure on the gunshot wound until first responders arrived on the scene. Hernandez now serves in the Arizona House of Representatives alongside his sister, Alma, while his other sister, Consuelo, serves on the Sunnyside School Board. We have a hope that all three Hernandez siblings will get into the race and go after each other with hit pieces focused on their behavior in grade school. • State Rep. Andres Cano, a former aide to Pima County Supervisor Richard Elias who won office in 2018. • Pima County Supervisor Matt Heinz has taken a few unsuccessful runs at Congress in the past, but he just won his seat on the Board of Supervisors in 2020. Still, the perch gives him a good opportunity to build name ID as he ponders a run. • Tucson Mayor Regina Romero recently took herself out of consideration for a job with the Biden administration, which allows her to consider running for Congress from her perch atop City Hall. • Attorney Michael Crawford, who served a couple of terms on the Tucson City Council back in the mid-’90s, is feeling some fire in his belly these days. Crawford had considered running for the open Ward 3 seat on the Tucson City Council this year, but when Kirkpatrick announced her retirement, Crawford said he “took it as a sign” that he was meant for bigger things. A part owner of the Prime Leaf Dispensary, Crawford says his campaign slogan will be: “Pot for Potholes!” On the GOP side, there are a number of names as well, including: • Lea Marquez Peterson, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2018 before being appointed to the Arizona Corporation Commission, did not close the door on a race during an appearance on Bill Buckmaster’s radio show last week. • State Sen. David Gowan, who abandoned his 2016 run for Congress amid a scandal involving his use of a state car for campaigning while claiming around $10,000 for mileage and other expenses, is mulling a campaign.
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• Shay Stautz, a former lobbyist for the UA who dropped out of his 2020 campaign for Congress after his signatures were challenged, could be considering another run this year. CITY LIMITS
Time is nearly out for council candidates to file for a spot on the 2021 ballot THERE’S LESS THAN A WEEK UNTIL
signatures are due for candidates for Tucson City Council this year—assuming we have having an election this year. (The Arizona Supreme Court is still weighing whether state lawmakers can force Tucson to move its election cycle to the presidential/midterm years instead of the current system of odd-numbered years.) Looks like the Pima County Republican Party does not have any candidates willing to seek a seat on the all-Democratic City Council. As of Tuesday, March 30, no Republicans had pulled paperwork for the race. But in Ward 3, where Democrat Paul Durham stepped down and appointed Councilwoman Karin Uhlich has said she would not seek the office, we are still seeing an Aug. 3 primary battle shape up between environmentalist Kevin Dahl and entrepreneur Juan Padres. Independent candidate Lucy Libosha hopes to face the primary winner in November. In Ward 6, three-term Councilman Steve Kozachik has already filed his nominating petitions with more than 750 signatures and announced that he would not accept campaign funds in his bid for reelection this year. He said it would be better to give money to a local
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nonprofit or business. “People are working hard to get back on their feet as we hopefully see an off-ramp to COVID-19,” Kozachik said. “If you have extra cash to invest in a cause, please consider supporting our local businesses, or find a non-profit that is aligned with your beliefs. People want money out of politics. That’s what my campaign will model once again.” Two Democrats have launched campaigns to knock Kozachik out of the Ward 6 seat he’s held since 2009, when he was first elected on the Republican ticket. After a number of political skirmishes with Republican state lawmakers, Kozachik switched to the Democratic Party before running for a second term. Democrat Miranda Schubert, a UA academic advisor and radio host at community radio station KXCI, has said she will focus her campaign on housing affordability and police reform. Democrat Andrés Portela, who formerly worked as a policy and community development director for Kozachik’s colleague, Ward 1 Councilmember Lane Santa Cruz, has said he is running “as a progressive Democrat with an emphasis on H.O.M.E. Housing, Opportunity, Mobility Justice and Environmental Justice.” Independent candidate Val Romero hopes to face the winner of the Ward 6 primary in the November primary race. Finally, Ward 5 Councilman Richard Fimbres has yet to draw a challenge from a Democrat or a Republican, but independent candidate Lucas Rodriquez is gathering signatures for a spot on the November ballot. ■
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APRIL 1, 2021
GOV. DUCEY IS LIFTING RESTRICTIONS JUST AS ARIZONA WAS GETTING A HANDLE ON COVID AND HIS DECISION WILL PROLONG THIS MISERY By Tom Danehy, firstname.lastname@example.org NEWS ON THE COVID FRONT: In the classic Talking Heads song, “Girlfriend Is Better,” David Byrne sings “...get closer to be far away...” That’s what’s happening now in Arizona as people are dropping their guard, gathering in unsafe numbers, and taking off their masks just because Dumbass Doug Ducey caved to political pressure and prematurely lifted COVID restrictions in the state. It’s ridiculous. With the vaccination programs going full speed, we were probably within a couple months of shutting the pandemic down. Now, we’re almost certainly going to have another surge. As knuckleheads get (unsafely) closer to one another (and us), the time that we can put the pandemic behind us gets further away. I went to the grocery store up on Tangerine the other day (after Gov. Dumbass decided that he could be just as ignorant as a guy from Mississippi). I was pleasantly surprised. The store still has the mask order prominently displayed on the door and everybody in the store was wearing a mask—young, old, teenagers, little kids. Everybody except one woman. I turned
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down one aisle and there she was, coming toward me, struttin’ like a pimp on payday. I turned my cart around and avoided her because you could tell she had the Stank of Stupidity on her. I finished shopping and got in the checkout line. Sure enough, she gets in the line next to mine. I glanced over at her and I’m sure I scowled behind my mask. She looked at me and said, “You’re just looking at me because I’m not wearing a mask.” Eight-five things went through my head, but I settled for “Lady, that’s pretty much the only reason anybody would look at you.” These next couple months are going to be brutal, what with more and more people “exercising their personal liberty” and prolonging this nightmare by several more months. The Q-Anon folks, fresh off their stunningly successful effort to keep Donald Trump in office (oh wait!), have moved on and are now focused on trying to undermine mass vaccination efforts. They figure if they can just find a way to keep the pandemic from dying out, it will make the
Biden Administration look bad. Q-Anon people are joining forces with anti-vaxxers and other dim bulbs to spread misinformation about the vaccines. These false stories include claims that Bill Gates (that evil guy who basically wiped out polio in Africa out of his own pocket) has really tiny computer chips in the vaccine that will take over a person’s brain. But, even if that were true (IT ISN’T!!!), it would be like that Gospel parable in Matthew 13: 1-23 about the guy who sows some of his seeds on barren, rocky ground and thus fails to produce a crop. I saw one woman with a sign that read “mRNA (the stuff that makes the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines work) = GM Humans.” I would have given that woman a thousand dollars if she had been able to accurately explain any part of that placard. I haven’t always been her biggest fan, but kudos to Tucson Mayor Regina Romero for sticking to her guns in trying to keep her citizens safe and well by keeping the mask mandate in place. We’ve all read the poll results about the shockingly high number of people who voted for Donald Trump who say that they won’t get the vaccine. While I know that it doesn’t exactly work that way, wouldn’t it be wonderful if everybody who wants the vaccine could get their shot(s) and then the only people who could get sick and maybe die from COVID would be those people who turned down the vaccine? Shame on Channel 13 News and its
sister station in Phoenix for running a story about a “mask-burning protest rally” in Phoenix. Do TV stations no longer have qualified news editors who assign reporters to real stories? The piece started with a shot of a couple masks being thrown into a fire in a metal trash barrel. But when the camera panned back, there were a total of FIVE PEOPLE wearing Trump T-shirts, cheering as they threw masks in the trashcan. That’s not a protest rally. It’s dinner time with the Clampetts out by the see-ment pond. The only thing newsworthy about that was that at least one of them knew how to start a fire. This spring, I’m coaching girls’ tennis. Please hold the laughter. I actually played a season of tennis in college. This, of course, was before Doritos were genetically modified to become super (waist) spreaders. My college coach said (and I quote): “For a self-proclaimed football player who is in college on a basketball scholarship, you’re not horrible at tennis.” I’m still blushing. Anyway, what’s really cool is that while the Arizona Interscholastic Association has said that student-athletes don’t have to wear masks while playing, my players still wear their masks on the court. I asked one of them why and she (obviously wellversed in chaos theory) said, “If I wear my mask a little bit longer, maybe one fewer person will die.” And yes, she used the correct “fewer” instead of “less.” The future is bright if we can just hang on a little bit longer. ■
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A BIG LIFT
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4
She said they always anticipated that the county would go to full opening on May 1, as the Biden administration set that date as a goal. However, in the past few weeks, Cullen said they got an “increasing number of concerning emails, social media and calls from people that had chronic diseases: 25-year-olds with diabetes, 32-year-olds who have cancer and they’ve been unable to get vaccinated.” They wanted to give them a “protected slice of the pie” and ensure that they could get vaccinated. Cullen said when more of those in at-risk groups are vaccinated, the county will open up to all 16 and older. She said she expected that to happen in the next 10 days. CASES CONTINUE DECLINE ARIZONA HAS NOW SEEN 10 straight weeks of declining COVID cases and is moving from a period of substantial risk to a period of moderate risk, said Dr. Joe Gerald, an epidemiolo-
gist and professor in the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health. Gerald noted that for the week ending March 21, 3,993 people tested positive for COVID, a drop of 12% over the previous week’s tally of 4,445. For Pima County, 426 people tested positive for COVID in the week ending March 21, a drop of 16% over the previous week’s 548 cases. New cases are being diagnosed at a rate of 44 per 100K residents a week, which is lower than the 46% per 100K that Pima County hit during the lowest week during the fall drop in cases between the summer and winter waves. But Gerald warned that “it is becoming more likely that improvements will stall or reverse owing to more transmissible variants and/or further normalization of business and social activities.” Gerald said it was reasonable to resume low-risk activities but encouraged residents and businesses to continue to follow public health recommendations to wear masks, physically distance when possible, wash hands and, if medically compromised, stay home as much as possible.
PIMA COUNTY UPDATES PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY AFTER DUCEY LOOSENED restrictions on businesses and sporting events as well as mask mandates, Pima County Health Department released their Public Health Advisory on Friday, March 26. Residents should continue with mitigation strategies, including washing hands and wearing masks at all times in public or when less than six feet from someone not in the same household. All gatherings should be held outdoors wherever possible. They should be limited to no more than 200 people and only held in settings and venues where social distancing is possible. Indoor events must be in spaces that provide at least 150 square feet per person, with mitigation strategies in place. More than one out of every 450 Pima County residents has died due to COVID-19, according to the advisory. With about 90 people in the hospital with COVID-19 and more than 30 in intensive care units and eight cases of the UK variant at the University of Arizona, Cullen asked the community to continue to comply with layered mitigation
measures. “We know we have not adequately immunized the community,” Cullen said. “We know we still have reported cases in the community, we still have hospitalizations, we still have ICU admissions. Now is not the time for individuals, businesses, organizations or government, in my opinion, to lift any of the mitigation measures that are available to them to help stop the transmission of this virus.” As of Monday, March 29, roughly 290,000 Pima County residents had received at least one shot of the vaccine and nearly 182,000 residents had been fully vaccinated, so nearly 28% of county residents had had at least one shot. Cullen said to reach 70% vaccination in the county, about 700,000 vaccines are needed. “As the governor readily admits, we are still in the midst of a public health emergency. People are still getting sick and dying. It is incumbent upon all of us to do everything we can to prevent the spread of this disease,” Dr. Cullen said. “We need everyone, not just businesses, to take this seriously. We are still in a very deadly situation and if we’re reckless in our behavior, it will get worse, especially now that the COVID variants are established in our county.” ■
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Flora’s Market Run Is Opening in the Legendary Rincon Market Space By Austin Counts email@example.com
THIS IS NO APRIL FOOLS JOKE. The highly anticipated Flora’s Market Run, located in the former Rincon Market building at Sixth Street and Tucson Boulevard, will be hosting a soft opening to the Sam Hughes neighborhood residents on Thursday, April 1, and to the general public on Tuesday, April 6. While the nearly 100-year-old market will stay true to its grocery and cafe roots, the team at Ares Collective Restaurant Group—Prep and Pastry, Commoner and Co., August Rhodes Bakery—have updated the menu and operations as the corner store approaches the century mark. “We knew if we came into this spot we needed to do something different. We needed to call it something different,” Ares Collective chef and partner Kyle Nottingham said. “We wanted to start fresh and say, ‘This is our interpretation of this space,’ while paying homage to it. We didn’t want people to associate us purely with just doing the old Rincon Market.” Nottingham said the new market will be segmented between grocery and deli on one side and a full service restaurant on the other. While the grocery will be open to the public next Tuesday, the restaurant is expected to open later in the month, according to the chef. The grocery store features an updated produce department, a local-centric grocery department, a butcher shop with a seafood section
The former Rincon Market building is being updates by the team behind Prep and Pastry, Commoner and Co. and August Rhodes Bakery.
and a delicatessen. Master butcher and fishmonger Jamie TeBockhorst will be heading up the meat and seafood department. He previously served Canyon Ranch for the past 20 years, helping the wellness resort become a mainstay of the local culinary community. “Our seafood program is going to be absolutely incredible. We are partnering with a few incredible purveyors for seafood and we’ll be getting the freshest seafood possible,” Nottingham said. “The butcher shop and the deli area are in the same place now. So, when you walk into the grocery side, it’s all going to be grocery.” On the restaurant side, Nottingham said they’ve overhauled the space and added custom woodworking pieces by Old Pueblo Craftsmen, subway tile and copper finishes to the market’s decor. The menu will be dependent on the produce, cuts of meat and seafood the grocery is able to acquire, according to Nottingham. They’ve also included mesquite wood-fired pizza to be a staple to their ever-changing menu. The chef said to expect the menu to be market-centric and a fresh interpretation of American cuisine. “The restaurant side is going to be purely a restaurant. We’re going to be doing breakfast, lunch and dinner. We’ve added an incredibly massive pizza oven to do woodfired pizzas,” Nottingham said. “Our butcher is going to bring in curated oysters from specific localities and then those will be featured at our oyster crudo bar at night.” Flora’s has also updated the coffee and espresso bar and extended the building’s outside patio, said the chef. Originally, Ares Collective planned to build a standalone market near First Avenue and River Road, but when Rincon Market closed last summer due to the pandemic, they felt that space—and the Sam Hughes neighborhood—would be perfect for their plans. “This space literally fell into our laps and we couldn’t
resist it. This was right when COVID happened, too,” Nottingham said. “We signed a brand-new lease of this unproven concept, in an area where we weren’t 100% familiar with. But we knew it’s a good space with a lot of potential and we all just thought this makes the most sense.” The market’s name is a double entendre relating to the children’s book Flora the Flamingo—which Nottingham and Ares Collective owner Nate Ares both read to their kids—and the word’s traditional meaning since the market and restaurant will be lush with plantlife “dripping from the ceiling,” said Nottingham. They added the word “run” to the name, implying it has a fast-casual menu and environment, according to the chef. Nottingham notes there may be some who might wonder why they didn’t keep the market’s old moniker. He said the previous branding was not included with the lease and they really want to start something new while keeping much of the tried and true touches the former market was known for. “I think this was meant to be and it’s everything we could ever want in a space,” Nottingham said. “Hopefully, it pays off.” ■
Flora’s Market Run 2513 E. Sixth Street Open: Mon-Sun Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The market will be hosting a soft opening to the Sam Hughes neighborhood residents on Thursday, April 1, and to the general public on Tuesday, April 6.
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braised short ribs, Dungeness crab quiche, ricotta gnocchi with chicken and butternut squash, and chocolate Dutch baby pancakes. Starters and desserts are also included. Easter brunch will be served at Cup Cafe, starting from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 4. The prix fixe menu is priced at $55 for adults and $25 for children. Hotel Congress strongly recommends making reservations before Easter Sunday. For more information or to make reservations, check out hotelcongress.com/dining. 311 E. Congress St.
Hacienda Del Sol’s Easter Offerings For those who are on the north side of town, we suggest checking out Hacienda Del Sol this Easter. The world-renowned guest ranch will be serving up a four-course prix fixe brunch and steller a la carte dinner options this year. Easter brunch will start at 9 a.m. and continue until 2 p.m., with dinner start-
ing at 5 p.m. If you’re still feeling reluctant to dine in, the guest ranch is also offering an Easter to-go menu, but orders need to be placed in advance by 1 p.m. on Friday, April 2. To-go meals will be ready to pick up between 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 3. Check out haciendadelsol.com for more information or make a reservation by calling 520529-3500. 5501 N. Hacienda Del Sol Road.
Easter with the Charro Family El Charro and its sister restaurant, Charro Steak & Del Rey have two fantastic Easter menus this year. At their flagship eatery, the Flores family will be offering eggs benedict Sonoran style, breakfast tacos, grilled Camarones and corn tamale cake or Easter Brunch at Cup Cafe carne seca breakfast chimis, all priced under $20. Over at their steak and seafood shack, the family To make up for missing last year’s Easter holiday, is hosting an Eggciting Easter menu featuring their Hotel Congress’ Cup Cafe is teaming up with Maynards Market to bring you a brunch so delicious steaks with an easter twist. The fun kicks off from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 4. For more it will resurrect your tastebuds. Chef Brian Smith and Executive Chef Carlos Mendoza have developed information, check out elcharrocafe.com. 311 N. a spectacular prix-fixe menu featuring entrées like Court Ave or 188 E. Broadway Blvd. By Austin Counts firstname.lastname@example.org
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PHOTO COURTESY RIALTO THEATRE
Cafe Tacvba performs at the Rialto Theatre on April 17, 2013. Images of past shows such as this are available to view and purchase at the Rialto Theatre Gallery Project, which opens to the public on Friday, April 2.
Local venues find a variety of ways to celebrate music while staying safe By Jeff Gardner email@example.com WITH COVID CASES CONTINUING their three-month decline, vaccines flowing and artists with a year of material ready to perform, the coming months are shaping up to be great times to attend live music in Tucson. Of course, many local venues are not quite ready to host indoor concerts. Those with patios are utilizing their outdoor spaces, and even indoor-only venues are finding unique ways to get music to the masses—or prep audiences for when the time is right. The Fox Theatre is collaborating with the Downtown Tucson Partnership to bring back live music, but this isn’t a traditional indoor concert series,
because the music may very well come to you. Troubadour Thursdays takes place throughout April, and serves as a “downtown patio tour,” where local musicians will move throughout downtown and perform to multiple restaurants and open areas. Each week features a different style of music, and all of the travelling “troubadours” are local. According to Bonnie Schock, who became executive director of the Fox Theatre mere weeks before COVID brought live concerts to a halt, the theatre staff spent most of late 2020 planning out different events, but multiple times they were wiped out. The Troubadour Thursdays series ultimately came into focus in mid-February as a way to get more music downtown, and benefit
nearby businesses that have shifted to open-air concepts. “We adapted, and let it grow and change based on how the realities of how the public health concerns shifted,” Schock said. “Because we can’t really bring people into the theatre, we looked at how we can have events in a way that meets people where they are and in a safe way, and of course helps us launch music again in downtown with some regularity.” Each Thursday, the musical groups will begin their tour at the Fox and then proceed throughout downtown with stops at seven restaurant patios: Charro Steak & Del Rey, The Hub, Batch Tucson, Ten55 Brewing, La Chingada, 47 Scott and Senae Thai Bistro. Each stop will include 10- to-15-minute
music performances. This transitory experience is intended to call back to the traveling style of traditional troubadours, and also feature a modern “pop up” feeling. “We very much see our role at the Fox as an economic anchor for downtown, because the partnerships we have with dining are very important,” Schock said. “So we really wanted to use the opportunity to highlight all the wonderful patios that had developed, because in this time everyone has gotten creative and moved outside.” For their performers, Fox looked at what types of music are safer during COVID, and decided to stick with only acoustic, no larger than a duo, and no music with horns. (That is to say, instruments that don’t have the potential
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to spray.) The musicians are also provided with personal protective equipment, and are making sure to not physically enter restaurant spaces. The series kicks off on April 1 with the Kiko Jácome Duo performing a mix of original and classic songs in Tucson’s signature desert rock style. Jazz week follows on April 8, with Hot Club of Tucson performing Django Reinhardt-inspired jazz on guitar and violin. On April 15, University of Arizona music graduate Sophia Rankin performs folk music. Sonoran Dogs member Peter McLaughlin and multi-instrumentalist Alvin Blaine perform bluegrass on April 22. And to close it out on April 29, Tucson familiars PD Ronstadt and Don Armstrong perform their brand of Americana. “We really had an enthusiastic response; people are looking for ways they can come back and have a relationship with the audience through their work,” Schock said. “We wanted to appeal to different tastes and different aesthetics, and that’s something that’s true of the Fox’s programming overall. We have an intentionally eclectic mix of programs that are intended to move across interests and demographics. That might not entirely be the case here, because it’s only five shows, but it’s definitely intended to be a mix of styles.” Beyond Troubadour Thursdays, the Fox Theatre is aiming for fall to return to indoor shows, in accordance with planning from most of the national touring industry. However, many elements, including the size of shows, are still being planned. These upcoming shows include 2020 events that were cancelled due to COVID, as well as new concerts. “Things have changed, and they very well may change again, so we don’t want to make firm promises until we know for sure. But fall is very much the target, and I feel confident at this point that we’re going to be able to make that happen,” Schock said. JUST UP THE STREET, HOTEL Congress has managed to host music
on their outdoor stage through most of the pandemic—and things are only expanding with new funding and
opportunities.” Hotel Congress is also known for their larger events like the Agave Heritage Festival and HoCo Fest, which often last multiple days and utilize various venues in the downtown area. And while the Hotel staff would love to announce these signature shows for later this year, as with everything else due to COVID, it’s up in the air. As Slutes puts it: There’s a million plans, but nothing set in stone. “I really do think downtown is going to slingshot into a better place, into what downtown needs to be, which is not just a bunch of bars, but something with strong cultural and community activities that people can enjoy safely,” Slutes said. “For as damaging as this time was, it was a nice opportunity for a re-fit.”
PHOTO COURTESY RIALTO THEATRE
Gary Clark Jr. performs at the Rialto Theatre on May 20, 2019.
new concert series. On March 17, the Rio Nuevo District board of directors voted to provide Hotel Congress with $300,000 to build out their Copper Hall space, improve restrooms and provide more staging on their plaza. The Hotel Congress plaza is keeping busy with their Jazz Fridays series hosting performers like Duo Vibrato, Pete Swan and Flute Juice Jazz. Congress Cookouts on Sundays combine local blues music with specialty barbecue food, and Soul Food Wednesday opens up their space to local blackowned businesses for a combination of food, music and vendors. Their fan-favorite Retro Game Show night is also returning on Sunday, April 4, with a blend of comedy, trivia and costumes. Hotel Congress staff says turnout has been very positive for these outdoor events, and reservations at their Cup Cafe are strongly encouraged due to limited seating in line with COVID safety measurements.
“Everything has had to go by feel,” said Hotel Congress entertainment director David Slutes. “If you had asked me a few weeks ago, I may have said we’re returning in the fall. But things seem to be getting up and running quite quickly… Everyone wants to play, and the guests are definitely craving it. The response has been wonderful, the tips bands are getting have been terrific, and it’s just a good feeling right now.” They are also starting to book shows more in line with their Club Congress audience. These shows are still taking place outdoors in their plaza, but include indie rock and pop bands to reach a different audience than their blues and jazz series. “The genre series are great, but I also want to get back to just booking good live music regardless of what style they fall into,” Slutes said. “And frankly, you don’t want to carve out nights for specific things when you might have other
ACROSS FROM HOTEL CONGRESS, the Rialto Theatre has a few more months to wait before hosting concerts. But they’ve used this downtime to organize an exhibit more than a decade in the making. The Rialto Theatre Gallery Project, which opens to the public on Friday, April 2, showcases the wide variety of performers Rialto and its affiliates have hosted, as captured by their house photographers C. Elliott and Mark Martinez. “We’ve had this asset for a long time and not really known what to do with it, so I guess a small silver lining in closing the theatre to music is it gives us time to inventory it all, print the photographs, map them and frame them,” said Michael McGrath, who has served as a lawyer for the Rialto board since the 1990s. “It’s almost like a journalistic cataloging of all the shows we’ve done over the years. And I’ve often wondered ‘When are we going to close the theatre to show this display?’ So it’s always something I’ve wanted to do, because it’s a treasure trove of musical history and some great photography.” Rialto’s archive contains more than 5,000 photographs detailing shows since 2004. Rialto and their affiliate venues like 191 Toole hosted more than 400 shows in 2018 alone. From this massive collection, the Rialto Theatre Gallery Project shows 75 images from their shows, as well as concerts they produced CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
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PHOTO BY JEFF GARDNER
Alicia Stockman performs at Monterey Court’s Stefan George Memorial Songwriting Competition on Saturday, March 27, 2021. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15
at the University of Arizona’s Centennial Hall, and a dozen concert posters designed by Ryan Trayte. Featured artists in the exhibit include Childish Gambino, Dave and Phil Alvin, Michael Franti, Tom Jones, Elvis Costello, Snoop Dogg and Durand Jones. Photos are available for purchase, and if bought, the gallery slot will be replaced with another image from the archive. The gallery will also play a soundtrack of some of the artists on display, curated by Cathy Rivers, the executive director of KXCI Community Radio Station. “We’re really happy to have C. Elliott and Mark Martinez finally get their due,” McGrath said. “We’ve had this great repository of images, and they’ve done such a good job chronicling what’s happened at the Rialto, so it’s nice to be able to feature them.” McGrath expects the gallery to be up until music returns most likely in the fall, but that’s not to say it will stay the same. After a month or so of the initial 75-image gallery, Rialto plans to move into special exhibitions highlighting images from the Tucson Folk Festival, Tucson Jazz Festival and potentially an exhibition highlighting local musicians like Calexico and Howe Gelb. They plan to have a new one of these special exhibitions every month, potentially celebrating the city’s blues and mariachi scenes as well. “I’m hoping we can do the Folk Fest special to add it as part of the exhibition,” McGrath said. “So it may be twothirds Rialto collection and one-third of the Folk Fest, just like you’d have in a normal gallery: you have your more permanent collection and your special exhibitions.”
To maintain COVID safety, the gallery viewing is reservation-only, and includes viewing stations so people don’t bunch up at certain areas. The gallery itself is in the Rialto’s auditorium, running from the back to the front, and even includes photos on the stage. “I think that will be cool for people coming by, because they’ll get up on the Rialto stage and perhaps see the theatre in a way they’ve never seen it,” McGrath said. “We’re trying to recreate the excitement of walking in the front of the Rialto to see someone you’re interested in... Really we wanted to whet people’s appetite, have them come down and see some great shows they attended or missed, and get prepared for the music actually coming back in the next several months.” Outside of downtown, multiple venues with outdoor stages are providing local musicians an outlet for their work. The ever-hospitable Monterey Court in the Miracle Mile area continually hosts local performers on their stage where audiences can enjoy food and a drink. While they focus on Tucson’s folk and blues scene, Monterey Court also presents comedy, reggae and jazz. On Saturday, March 27, Monterey Court even held a songwriting competition and benefit concert for the upcoming Tucson Folk Festival. The 36th annual Tucson Folk Festival takes place next weekend, April 10-11, at multiple stages throughout town. Hosted by the Tucson Kitchen Musicians Association, Arizona Arts Live, and the University of Arizona’s Arizona Arts, the festival will take place at three different venues: a drive-in stage at Park Place Mall, UA’s Centennial Hall and the Mercado San Agustin’s Annex. Though it’s titled the Tucson Folk Festival, performers come in from multiple states to perform and showcase “the very best of acoustic music.” ■
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HIGH PROFILE PROHIBITION
Bill would prevent dispensaries from sponsoring concerts, sporting events By David Abbott firstname.lastname@example.org WHILE SOME OF THE MOST ODIOUS legislative bills introduced at the Arizona Legislature this year aimed at the new recreational cannabis industry have been pulled or failed, another that would continue to stigmatize legitimate cannabis businesses is House Bill 2809. The legislation would limit advertising and would not allow your local dispensary to publicly sponsor community events. Although the bill looks like it will not
get the three-quarters support it needs to pass in the Senate, HB2809 is representative of the kitchen sink of bad legislation being thrown at Prop 207, which was supported by 60% of Arizona voters. Should the bill become law, cannabis dispensaries that contribute to local causes would be hamstrung in their public efforts to give back to the community. Given the economic ravages coronavirus has thrust upon local nonprofit agencies, particularly performance venues that have not been able to hold events in more than a year, such legislation would block dispensaries from
providing needed support. There are some positive aspects of HB2809, such as labeling product, posting signage warning pregnant women that they may endanger their unborn child or risk being reported to the Department of Child Safety, and prohibiting establishments from handing out samples or selling to “obviously intoxicated” persons, the bill would also restrict advertising graphics that appeal to individuals under the age of 21 or within a mile of a K-12 school. But the restrictions on sponsorship of community events is the portion of the bill that would affect businesses trying to work within the community to destigmatize an industry that has weathered the coronavirus pandemic and is likely to generate more than $1 billion in economic activity annually in the very near future. Although the bill is not likely pass, it represents a pattern of behavior for lawmakers who continue to push a “Reefer Madness” narrative for legal weed. HB2809 specifically prohibits dispensaries sponsoring “any athletic, musical, artistic or other social or cultural events or any entry fee or team in any event.” Such bans would have a huge impact
on Tucson dispensary Prime Leaf, which for the past seven years has sponsored music festivals, athletic events and even has a mutually beneficial partnership with Tucson Symphony. “We’re one of the few industries with the capital to help support these organizations,” said Brian Warde, co-owner and CEO of Prime Leaf, who noted that lawmakers have no problem with sponsorships from the alcohol industry. “It’s very short-sighted.” Warde and his partners have worked to integrate their business into the community through local philanthropy in an effort to normalize cannabis both as medicine and now as a legally acceptable form of recreation. From holiday toy drives to music festivals to mixed martial arts competitions, the Prime Leaf’s largesse has benefitted such organizations as Therapeutic Ranch for Animals and Kids and the Rialto Theatre and has helped finance community events such as the Dusk Music Festival and the 2019 Tucson Hip Hop Festival. They even help underprivileged athletes with entry fees for tournaments CONTINUED ON PAGE 18
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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17
and gym dues or with other types of fundraising. “Athletics keep kids out of the streets and surrounded by the support of the community and mentorship of these gyms,” Warde said. “Both [Prime Leaf partner George] Roop and I grew up in Tucson and came from pretty challenging circumstances, so we’re just looking to pay it forward.” State Rep. Randall Friese (D-Tucson), who co-sponsored the bill along with 22 Republicans and seven Democrats, said he believes it would be OK for dispensaries to anonymously sponsor events,” but thinks there needs to be a “comfort level” achieved by the public (and legislators) to accept a wider public participation by cannabis businesses in local cultural events. “We have to think about the comfort level of the public and how do we get the comfort level of the public to a better place?” Friese said. “Adult use marijuana just started, and hopefully, in another three or four or five years, people will see this isn’t a big, bad monster, but in fact, is
helping [our] community.... I believe this builds from them doing it anonymously.” As to the fact that 60% of the voters in the state opted in favor of adult-use recreational weed, Friese likens public perceptions of marijuana to those in the post-Prohibition era, when alcohol was legalized after it was banned for 13 years. “I think that there are people out there who voted for it, but might still have some trepidation about how pervasive will it be,” he said. “That 60% number tells me the state was ready for this industry and people want to use this product.... I use the example of alcohol back in the 1920s: After prohibition, I think there was we need to comfortably move into this space, and we will.” While he says he is glad Prop 207 passed, Friese also believes Arizona could have done a much better job of rolling out recreational weed, given the problems with the marijuana testing law and the abrupt start of recreational sales in late January. “If the Legislature and DHS had been on top of things, we could have a robust testing program,” he said. “We had medical marijuana for 10 years, we could have a robust, mature testing program with a mature laboratory industry and we could
have transitioned into adult use much more smoothly.” The federal government could help fix a lot of problems with legalized weed, if it would stop its “shenanigans” regarding the legal status of the plant, he said. Friese, who recently announced his intention to run for U.S. Congress in Southern Arizona, was also the lone sponsor of HB2415, which sought to expand the prohibition against public use of cannabis to include vaping or other forms of “ingesting” the plant. That bill is currently on hold and not likely to go anywhere. Southern Arizona NORML Executive Director Mike Robinette said while some of the language in HB2809 is acceptable, SOAZNORML strictly opposed the prohibitions on sponsorship, and thus the entire bill. Robinette called the language “unconstitutional regulation on commercial speech,” adding that it might leave organizations “to ponder whether or not they will be fined by regulator interpretation of this language.” “This language is patently unfair to marijuana establishments and dispensaries as they are being treated differently from other businesses who are allowed to sponsor events,” he wrote in a recent
email. “Furthermore, this is yet another attempt by the Legislature to push back on legalization and the recognition that marijuana businesses are legitimate businesses in our communities.” Robinette went on to praise Sen. Rosanna Gabaldón (D-Tucson) for offering an amendment to eliminate the language that ultimately failed. Some dispensary owners have an issue with the language surrounding advertising, as it will not allow advertising within one mile of any K-12 public or private school. Moe Asnani, owner of Tucson’s Downtown and D2 dispensaries and co-founder of iLava, said the bill unnecessarily restricts advertising placement and can hurt the bottom line of both dispensaries and billboard operators. Asnani also sees what has been happening in the Legislature as a call to action for citizens who voted in favor of legalized weed. “It’s going to hurt a lot of local jobs,” he said. “It doesn’t define advertising— would you be able to distribute the Weekly with one of our ads within one mile of a school?—and all the effects are very real.” Asnani, who says he employs about
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200 people, advocates for people calling their representatives and to get involved in the political process surrounding cannabis legalization.
NEWS NUGGETS WHAT’S THE STORY HERE? In the year leading up to the fateful election of 2020, Vice President Kamala Harris and other members of the Biden Administration, as well as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, said the administration would work to reform antiquated drug laws and deschedule marijuana, which shares the same legal status as heroin or cocaine. On the campaign trail, Harris famously said, “Under a Biden-Harris administration, we will decriminalize the use of marijuana and automatically expunge all marijuana-use convictions, and end incarceration for drug use alone. This is no time, from our collective perspective, for half-steppin’.” Apparently, some Biden Administration staffers are “half-steppin’”—or full-steppin’ at this point—right out the door. On March 17, five White House staffers were terminated for past marijuana use and several others were admonished or reassigned. According to a March 19 report by the Daily Beast, “Dozens of young White House staffers have been suspended, asked to resign, or placed in a remote work program due to past marijuana use, frustrating staffers who were pleased by initial indications from the Biden administration that recreational use of cannabis would not be immediately disqualifying for would-be personnel, according to three people familiar with the situation. “The policy has even affected staffers whose marijuana use was exclusive to one of the 14 states—and the District of Columbia—where cannabis is legal. Sources familiar with the matter also said a number of young staffers were either put on probation or canned because they revealed pas marijuana use in an official document they filled out as part of the lengthy background check for a position in the Biden White House.” According to a March 26 report by NORML, 30 members of Congress, led by Reps Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) Don Beyer (D-VA), Mondaire Jones (D-NY), Jared Huffman (D-CA) and Barbara Lee (D-CA),
urged Biden to rectify the situation with the staffers, asking the White House to “clarify its employment suitability policies, remove past cannabis use as a potential disqualifier, and apply these policies with consistency and fairness. “While we work to deschedule cannabis legislatively, your administration should act within its power to stop legitimizing unfair cannabis laws,” the lawmakers wrote. “You have previously expressed your commitment to decriminalizing cannabis in acknowledgement that a cannabis conviction or even the stigma of cannabis use can ruin lives and prevent people from voting, gaining employment, and contributing to society. You can meet this moment and help end our failed punitive policy of cannabis prohibition.” This comes as the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2019—the MORE Act—languishes in Congress. Among other things, MORE specifically: • removes marijuana from the list of scheduled substances under the Controlled Substances Act and eliminates criminal penalties for an individual who manufactures, distributes, or possesses marijuana. • requires the Bureau of Labor Statistics to regularly publish demographic data on cannabis business owners and employees, • establishes a trust fund to support various programs and services for individuals and businesses in communities impacted by the war on drugs, • establishes a process to expunge convictions and conduct sentencing review hearings related to federal cannabis offenses, and directs the Government Accountability Office to study the societal impact of cannabis legalization. But it’s not like the Biden Administration has nothing else to do in the wake of the destruction wrought by the Trump Administration. Botanica remodel Botanica began a multi-month remodel and redesign on March 28. Regular business hours will take place in its pop-up store. The dispensary’s parking lot will be inaccessible until further notice and store parking (including designated handicapped spots) will be across the street in the dirt lot. Botanica is located at 6205 N. Travel Center Drive in Marana. Hours are daily from 10 a.m. To 7 p.m. ■ For more information, call 520-395-0230.
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APRIL 1, 2021
FREE WILL ASTROLOGY
By Rob Brezsny. Go to 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): Playwright August Strindberg (1849–1912) was a maverick innovator who loved to experiment with plot and language. One of his stories takes place in a dream and the hero is the Christ-like daughter of a Vedic god. He once said that he felt “an immense need to become a savage and create a new world.” Given your current astrological potentials, Aries, I suspect that might be an apt motto for you right now. APRIL FOOL! I half-lied. There’s no need for you to become a savage. In fact, it’s better if you don’t. But the coming weeks will definitely be a good time to start creating a new world. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Who says all Tauruses are gentle, risk-avoidant, sensible, and reliable? Taurus author Mary MacLane (1861–1929), known as the “Wild Woman of Butte, Montana,” authored shocking, scandalous books. In I Await the Devil’s Coming, she testified, “I am not good. I am not virtuous. I am not generous. I am merely a creature of intense passionate feeling. I feel—everything. It is my genius. It burns me like fire.” Can I convince you, Taurus, to make her your role model for the coming weeks? APRIL FOOL! I don’t think you should be EXACTLY like MacLane. Please leave out the part about “I am not good. I am not virtuous. I am not generous,” as well as the “I await the devil’s coming” part. But yes, do be a creature of intensely passionate feeling. Let your feelings be your genius, burning in you like a fire. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Poet Emily Dickinson had a good sense of humor, so she was probably making a wry joke when she wrote, “The lovely flowers embarrass me. They make me regret I am not a bee.” But who knows? Maybe Emily was being a bit sincere, too. In any case, I advise you to make a list of all the things you regret not being—all the qualities and assets you wish you had, but don’t. It’s a favorable time to wallow in remorse. APRIL FOOL! I was totally lying! In fact,
I hope you will do the reverse: Engage in an orgy of self-appreciation, celebrating yourself for being exactly who you are. CANCER (June 21-July 22): Provocation specialist Lydia Lunch is a singer and poet who’s skilled at generating interesting mischief. She testifies, “My daily existence is a battlecade of extreme fluctuations where chaos clobbers apathy, which beats the s--- out of depression which follows irritability which slams into anger which eclipses ecstasy which slips through my fingers far too often.” In the coming weeks, Cancerian, I recommend you adopt her melodramatic approach to living the intense life. APRIL FOOL! I lied. Please don’t be like Lydia Lunch in the near future. On the contrary: Cultivate regal elegance, sovereign poise, and dynamic equanimity. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In 1692, a Swedish man named Thiess of Kaltenbrun was put on trial for being a werewolf. He claimed to be a noble werewolf, however. He said he regularly went down to Hell to do holy combat against the Devil. I suggest you make him your inspirational role model in the coming weeks. Be as weird as you need to be in order to fight for what’s good and right. APRIL FOOL! I half-lied. What I really meant to say was: Be as weird as you need to be to fight for what’s good and right, but without turning into a werewolf, zombie, vampire, or other supernatural monster. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I want to hear raucous music, to brush against bodies, to drink fiery Benedictine,” wrote author Anais Nin. “Beautiful women and handsome men arouse fierce desires in me. I want to dance. I want drugs. I want to know perverse people, to be intimate with them. I want to bite into life. All that sounds like perfect counsel for you to consider right now, dear Virgo! APRIL FOOL! I lied. Nin’s exuberant testimony
SAVAGE LOVE SNOOPING AND
By Dan Savage, email@example.com
I’ve been with my boyfriend for 2.5 years and we have a great relationship—or so I thought. Last week, I snooped on my boyfriend’s browser history and I don’t know what to do with what I found. I’m a longtime reader and Savage Lovecast listener SO I KNOW WHAT I DID WAS WRONG. I believe my actions were driven by 1. lingering trust issues (a while ago, I found out my boyfriend had been looking at Tinder since we’d been together, though I don’t believe he ever messaged or intended to meet anyone)
and 2. my general anxiety/depression, which seems particularly high one year into the pandemic. Now, to what I found: my boyfriend has been looking at random women on Facebook—not people he’s friends with, or people in his immediate network, so far as I know. And then he clears his activity log. What do you think this means? Where is he finding these names/women? Is he using these pictures to masturbate? Should I raise the issue with him or just feel shitty about invading his privacy? He gives me no other
might be an interesting perspective to flirt with—if the COVID-19 virus had been completely tamed. But it hasn’t. So I must instead suggest that you find ways to express this lively, unruly energy in safe and sublimated ways. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Here are affirmations that will serve you well in the coming days. 1. “I am willing to make mistakes if someone else is willing to learn from them.” 2. “I am grateful that I’m not as judgmental as all the shortsighted, self-righteous people.” 3. “I assume full responsibility for my actions, except those that are someone else’s fault.” 4. “A good scapegoat is as welcome as a solution to the problem.” APRIL FOOL! All the preceding affirmations are total bunk! Don’t you dare use them. Use these instead: 1. “I enjoy taking responsibility for my actions.” 2. “Rather than indulging in the reflex to blame, I turn my attention to fixing the problem.” 3. “No one can make me feel something I don’t want to feel.” 4. “I’m free from believing in the images people have of me.” SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): According to author Kahlil Gibran, “If we were all to sit in a circle and confess our sins, we would laugh at each other for lack of originality.” But I challenge you Scorpios to refute that theory in the coming days. For the sake of your sanity and health, you need to commit highly original sins—the more, the better. APRIL FOOL! I lied. Save your novel, imaginative sinning for later. The truth is that now is an excellent time to explore the joyous and healthy practice of being extremely virtuous. Imitate author Susan Sontag: “My idolatry: I’ve lusted after goodness. Wanting it here, now, absolutely, increasingly.” SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): The coming months would be a great time to start your own university and then award yourself a PhD in Drugless Healing or Mathematical Reincarnation or Political Metaphysics—or any other subject you’d like to be considered an expert in. Hey, why not give yourself three PhDs and call yourself a Professor Emeritus? APRIL FOOL! I’m just joking. The coming months will indeed be an extremely favorable time to advance your education, but with
reason to not trust him, I should say, and he seems like a pretty open book. (Everyone in my life who knows him agrees.) However, I can’t shake the fear/paranoia that he’s living a double life and I don’t want to be blindsided. I would appreciate your insight. —Sincerely Nervous Over Online Pattern My position on snooping is more nuanced than you think. To quickly summarize: I DON’T NECESSARILY THINK WHAT YOU DID WAS WRONG. I mean, snooping is wrong and I believe people have a right to privacy—even partnered people— but sometimes a snooper finds out something they needed to know and/or
real learning, not fake credentials. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): After his Nirvana bandmate Kurt Cobain committed suicide, Capricorn drummer Dave Grohl was depressed for months. To cheer himself up, he wrote and recorded an album’s worth of songs, playing almost all the instruments himself: drums, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass, and vocals. I think you should try a similar spectacularly heroic solo task in the coming weeks. APRIL FOOL! I lied. Here’s my true and actual advice: Now is a time when you should gather all the support and help and cooperation you can possibly garner for an interesting project. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Argentine poet Alejandra Pizarnik told her psychoanalyst León Ostrov that if she were going to steal something, it would be “the façade of a certain collapsed house in a little town called Fontenay-aux-Roses [near Paris].” What was so special about this façade? Its windows were made of “magical” lilac-colored glass that was “like a beautiful dream.” In accordance with astrological omens, I invite you, too, to decide what marvel you would steal—and then go steal it! APRIL FOOL! I half-lied. Yes, definitely decide what you would steal—it’s important to give your imagination permission to be outrageous— but don’t actually steal it. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): I’ve never understood the appeal of singer-songwriter Morrissey, especially since he began endorsing bigoted far-right politicians. However, I want to recommend that you adopt the attitude he once expressed in a letter to a friend. “It was a terrible blow to hear that you actually worked,” he wrote. “It’s so old-fashioned to work. I’d much rather lounge about the house all day looking fascinating.” Be like that in the coming weeks, Pisces! APRIL FOOL! I lied. In fact, you’d be making a silly mistake to lie around the house looking fascinating. It’s a highly favorable time for you to find ways to work harder and smarter. ■ Homework. Send the secrets you could only tell a stranger. FreeWillAstrology.com
had a right to know. A woman who finds out her husband has been sneaking off to big gay sex parties and taking loads until cum bubbles are coming out of his nose and them goes home and has unprotected sex with his her? Yeah. She needed to know that and her husband doesn’t get to play the wronged party because his wife found out about it by snooping on his phone. My position—my maddening position (as it seems to madden some)—is that snooping can only be justified retroactively. If you learned something you needed to know and had a right to know, the snooping was justified. If you didn’t, it wasn’t. A person should only snoop if they have other evidence or cause for concern—some will regard your boy
APRIL 1, 2021
friend’s harmless interactions on Tinder as grounds, some won’t (for the record: I don’t)—and just being a jealous or insecure or paranoid person doesn’t count. Additionally, anyone who is tempted to snoop with or without cause needs to consider the not insignificant risk of finding something they 1. didn’t need to know and 2. can’t unknow. I once got a letter from a man who snooped on his computer phone and discovered that she had, years before they met, slept with her brother— just the once, and shortly after they met for the first time as adults. But the husband didn’t need to know that and couldn’t unknow it and knowing his wife had slept with her brother messed up his sexual relationship with the wife and his ability to enjoy family gatherings. Moving on… So you snooped, SNOOP, and what did you find out? Something you didn’t need to know—your boyfriend isn’t cheating on you, he doesn’t have a secret second family in another city, he doesn’t spend every other Friday duct taped to a sling in a gay sex dungeon. All you know now that you’ve snooped that you didn’t before is… well, all you know now is something you should’ve known all along. Your boyfriend, like most people’s boyfriends (mine included), likes to look at people on the Internet. If you have no other reason to suspect your partner is cheating on you, SNOOP, then you’ll have to do what everyone else does and give your partner the benefit of the (very trivial) doubt here. Discretely checking out the hotties on the street or on Facebook or even on a dating app is not cheating. Masturbating to images, mental or otherwise, of other women or men or non-binary folks isn’t cheating. What you found is not, by itself, proof that your boyfriend is cheating or plans to. So your snooping is not, I’m sorry to say, retroactively justified, which means you’ll have to shut the fuck up about it. Your boyfriend is entitled to a zone of erotic autonomy. If he’s checking out hot people on the Internet and having a wank every once in a while but not touching anyone else with the tip of penis or the tip his tongue or the tips of his fingers or with any other part of his body that he’s pledged to you and you alone—and if he’s not neglecting you sexually and if he’s not being inconsiderate (clearing his browser history/activity log isn’t
evidence of guilt, it’s evidence of consideration)—then he’s done nothing wrong here. Only you have. Finally, of your boyfriend demanded a zone of erotic autonomy for himself but denied you the same—if he checked out other women online or off but blew up at you for checking out other men or being checked out by other men—then you’d have a problem of a different sort, i.e. a controlling, sexist, and hypocritical boyfriend. Thankfully, SNOOP, your boyfriend doesn’t appear to be any of those things. That doesn’t mean you couldn’t be blindsided by him at some point—just because someone hasn’t cheated yet doesn’t mean they’ll never cheat ever, not finding evidence that he’s cheating doesn’t mean he isn’t—but there’s no need to tell him what you did or confront him with what you found. Which is nothing. I was born and raised in Middle East in a culture of “a girl doesn’t have sex until she gets married.” I am het-
erosexual and 33 years old and living in United States now. I’ve had multiple sexual partners. But I am always conflicted when it comes to having sex for the first time when dating a new guy. If things don’t go right after having sex and we wind up splitting, I always associate that with having sex too soon. I would like to hear your opinion on this matter. —Sexual Politics Lost In Translation The fastest way to find out if someone only wants sex from us is to fuck ’em. If they stick around, great. They wanted sex, obviously, but not just sex. If they disappear and we didn’t want them to, well, that’s obviously not so great. But if you enjoy the sex and you’re not devastated when a guy decides, for whatever reason, that he’s not interested in pursuing things further after you’ve had sex once or twice, SPLIT, then fuck the guys you like and get serious about the guy (or guys) who stick around. But if you feel used and/or devasted when things “don’t go right” after sex, you might want—for your own sake— to put sex off for a while. Since a guy who’s only interested in sex isn’t going to wait weeks or months to have sex with you for the first time, waiting will weed out guys who aren’t interested in the possibility of a relationship. Waiting is no guarantee a relationship will last, SPLIT, just as jumping into bed right away doesn’t always lead to failure. I’m not advising you to do what’s right here, SPLIT, but to do what’s right for you. Also, there are lots of ways to define “things going right” after sex. Whether you had sex on the first date or sex after dating for three months, if the sex was bad and you didn’t enjoy it—if the guy was inconsiderate or unhygienic or not invested in your pleasure or all of the above—never having to see that guy again would definitely count as “things going right.” firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Dan on Twitter @FakeDanSavage. savagelovecast.com
APRIL 1, 2021
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APRIL 1, 2021
42 Middle of a
ACROSS Literary pal of Porthos 6 Architect of the original Sisyphean task 11 Nudge, in a way 14 Area for development 15 Venerate 16 Home of the N.C.A.A.’s Cavaliers 17 Arizona’s ___ National Forest (whose name is Spanish for “stupid”) 18 Holden’s late brother in “The Catcher in the Rye” 19 Spot for a tap 20 Like some diet soda 22 Bill ___, noted Vietnam War-era activist 24 Unreactive 25 Collaborator on 1968’s “Two Virgins,” familiarly 27 Lacks existence 29 Some exchanges via AOL, once 31 Oil spot? 35 Choleric 36 Masterstroke 37 Garment whose name comes from the Malay for “sheath” 38 Final Oldsmobile model 40 Central difficulty 1
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sustainability slogan 43 Biggest Frenchspeaking Swiss city 45 Choler 47 Unfortunate occasion for a spelling error 48 Regard 49 “___ this!” 50 Alternatives to melts, maybe 51 Organization with pledges, informally 53 Get into it, in a way 55 Bridge declaration, in casual play 58 Bounced back 62 Kind of page 63 Carmaker from Japan 65 Lead-in to phobia 66 ___ season 67 Single-take shots, in film lingo 68 Took back, as a trophy 69 Vote for 70 Newswoman O’Donnell 71 Impenetrable
DOWN Courtroom figs. 2 Pants, slangily 1
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We mov to a NEWed LOCATIO N
3 Feature of some
bibliographic citations 4 Piece of the pie, perhaps 5 Cache 6 Stethoscope detection 7 Turning point 8 Surname of two former Chicago mayors 9 Director Roth of cinema’s Splat Pack 10 Dish often topped with raw egg yolk 11 Vintage diner fixture, in brief 12 Done 13 Practical jokes 21 Cold, in Caracas 23 “___ the best!” 26 Forerunner of the C.I.A. 27 N.A.A.C.P. ___ Awards 28 Closer’s specialty 30 Gush
Blackjack bet … or a hint to applying the five shaded regions in this puzzle 33 Map feature 34 Molding curves 36 Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You,” for example 39 Prime snorkeling spots 41 Former first and second lady 44 Physicians’ grp. 46 Halal cart offering 50 Jumper cable? 52 More aligned 54 Watch 55 Uncertain 56 Like beige and lilac 57 Shade at the beach 59 Book before Nehemiah 60 Psyche’s mate in Greek mythology 61 Hamlet, for one 64 Hostess ___ Balls 32
APRIL 1, 2021
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