By CASEY MUSE JR.
The Pima Community College softball team (25-12, 19-9 conference) has been playing well in March and has found consistency in several aspects of the game.
March 4: PCC 4, Phoenix 10/ PCC 1, Phoenix 12
The No. 18 Aztecs fell behind 4-0 early in the first game against the No. 2 Bears. They cut into the lead by scoring three runs in the fourth inning.
Sophomore Bailey Critchlow took the loss as she pitched four and two-third innings, finishing with 10 hits and three walks.
Phoenix College jumped out early in the second game, scoring five runs in the first inning. Sophomore Luisa Silvain took the loss. She finished with four hits, one strikeout and one walk.
March 7: PCC 15, Ancilla 1/ PCC 21, Ancilla 2
Pima got back on track in a big way in a double-header against Ancilla College at the Tucson Invitational at Lincoln Park.
The first game saw the Aztecs score five runs in the first inning, then seven more in the fourth.
Freshman Mandy Lorenson earned the win, pitching all five innings. She finished with two hits and 12 strikeouts.
In the second game, the Aztecs scored four runs in the first inning and another 10 runs in the fourth.
Freshman Hannah Wood picked up the win, pitching all five innings. She finished with seven hits and two strikeouts.
March 9: PCC 5, Central Arizona 7
The Aztecs saw their late rally attempt fall short in a makeup game at home.
Pima struck first on a sacrificefly RBI in the first inning. Things got away from the Aztecs when the Vaqueras scored five unanswered runs for a 7-2 lead.
Critchlow took the loss, pitching three innings. She finished with 11 hits and two strikeouts.
March 11: PCC 4, Paradise Valley 8/ PCC 13, Paradise Valley 5
The first game was tight until the Pumas busted it open with seven runs in the sixth.
Silvain took the loss. She pitched four innings and finished with eight hits and one strikeout.
The Aztecs earned revenge in the second game, scoring four runs in the first inning, two in the second and four more in the sixth.
Lorenson got the win. She pitched two innings and finished with two strikeouts and six walks.
March 14: PCC 6, South Mountain 1/ PCC 8, South Mountain 0
Critchlow pitched one of her best performances of the year, so far, in the first game. She pitched the complete game, finishing with one run, five hits and two strikeouts. The offense put up six runs.
The second game was even more dominant as Aztecs scored eight runs.
Lorenson provided her best pitching performances of the season as well, finishing with no hits, three strikeouts and four walks.
March 16: PCC 14, Chandler-Gilbert 1/ PCC 20, Chandler-Gilbert 1
In the first game, Pima scored four runs in the second, fourth, and fifth for a mercy-rule win.
Critchlow earned her 10th win, pitching all five innings and finishing with seven hits.
In the second game, the Aztecs scored 10 runs in the first and eight in the second one. Lorenson tossed her second straight no-hitter for her fifth win.
March 18: PCC 10, AWC 7/ PCC 5, AWC 4
Pima took an early lead in the first game, scoring four runs in the first inning.
The Matadors scored three runs of their own in the fourth to cut the lead to one. The Aztecs put the game away with six runs in the fourth.
Critchlow earned another victory, finishing with nine hits. The second game was extremely close throughout.
Arizona Western battled to a 4-3 lead in the eighth inning, but Pima freshman Alysa Talamante hit a game-winning walk-off RBI.
Lorenson pitched all eight innings and finished with 12 strikeouts and three walks.
March 21: PCC 6 Glendale 1/ PCC 20 Glendale 0
The Aztecs continued their winning streak with a conference sweep over Glendale on the road.
Freshman Megan Flores got things started for the offense with an RBI single in the first inning of the first game to help Pima take control.
Sophomore Margarita Corona got in on the action with an RBI double of her own in the third.
Critchlow earned the win pitching the complete game and finishing with eight hits and four strikeouts. Her record sits at 12-5 for the season.
Game two was even more dominant as PCC scored seven runs in the third inning and another 11 in the fourth inning on their way to 20 total runs and a mercy rule victory.
March 25: Mesa CC, West Campus, doubleheader, noon, 2 p.m.
March 28: at Yavapai College, Prescott, doubleheader, 1 p.m., 3 p.m.
April 1: at GateWay CC, Phoenix, doubleheader, noon, 2 p.m.
April 4: at Central Arizona, Coolidge, doubleheader, 1 p.m., 3 p.m.
By NICHOLAS TRUJILLO
The No. 2 Pima Community College women’s basketball team (23-8, 16-6 conference) closed out their season on an early note after losing to No. 1 Mesa CC Thunderbirds.
Last season, the Aztecs overcame the Thunderbirds and made their way to third place in the NJCAA championship tournament. Last season, the Aztecs were also the No. 1 seed and Mesa was the No. 2 seed.
PCC played catch up for most of the game but didn’t rally in the second half.
March 7: PCC 86, Scottsdale CC 76
The Aztecs began play with an eightpoint deficit against the Artichokes. A shot from sophomore Sydni Stallworth relieved the playoff tension.
The first quarter ended with a 19-19 draw.
The second quarter saw freshman Izzy Spruit shoot four-for-four beyond the arc to give the Aztecs a double-digit lead that turned into a 52-38 lead at halftime.
After the break, the Artichokes came out of the locker room with a spark and outscored the Aztecs 23-17 in the third quarter.
The Aztecs responded with an 11-1 run in the fourth to secure their double-digit lead.
“Anytime you can win a playoff game you should always be excited,” head coach Todd Holthaus said. “No matter what happens in the regular season, the post season is always tough.”
Stallworth lead the Aztecs with 31 points, while Spruit had 12 points. Sophomore Erin Peterson finished with six points and a team high of nine rebounds.
“We had some rocky moments, we got too much in our frustrations when our shots weren’t falling,” Stallworth said.
March 11: PCC 72, Mesa CC 74
After charging to the championships for Region I Division II, the Aztecs faced defeat against the Thunderbirds.
After tip off, Mesa went on a 17-2 run to put themselves above PCC by 21-10.
The lead increased by halftime when the Thunderbirds outscored the Aztecs 46-29.
In the third quarter, the Aztecs were on fire going on a 16-6 run to cut the lead down to 60-52. Freshman Alliyah Bryant contributed a couple of threes, while Stallworth shot six-for-six from the free-throw line.
The fourth quarter saw sophomore Moana Hala’ufia hit a pair of free throws. A forced turnover lead to Smith hitting a three and Stallworth scoring off an offensive rebound.
The Aztecs made their way to a 72-70 lead, their first of the game, with 2:05 left.
Pima fouled Mesa with 3.7 seconds remaining, and Mesa hit just the first of the two free throws. Stallworth grabbed the missed shot, and was immediately guarded by three Mesa defenders.
Stallworth tossed the ball to Bryant, who passed the ball to Smith.
Smith found Hala’ufia for an open shot but the ball missed as the buzzer sounded, leaving Mesa the Region I Division II champion.
Stallworth finished with a game-high 22 points, while sophomore Bree Cates contributed 15 points.
“We had a tough game, we played hard but lost by two,” Stallworth said. “Second half we really came to play but they had a little bit more momentum than we did.”
In nine years, this is the eighth time Mesa and PCC have met in the finals. Each time, the home team has won.
This season marked the sixth season of 20-plus wins for Holthaus in his 10 years at Pima.
With the season over, NJCAA All-American Stallworth will move to Alaska to play for University of Alaska Anchorage, an NCAA Division I school.
Photo by Nicholas Trujillo
Sophomore Sydni Stallworth passes in the ball to her teammates against No.3 Scottsdale CC, during the NJCAA playoff game on March 7
By ASHLEY MUÑOZ
Aries (March 21-April 19)
The stars are done giving you advice, Aries, mainly because they’ve been dead for hundreds of years.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Hey Taurus, it’s never too late to get into streetwear. Don’t listen to what your family and friends say, spending $600 on sneakers is nothing. This is what you do when you want to be the best. You were born to be a hype beast.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Gemini, you must delete your Twitter account. It’s getting you into a lot of trouble. No one cares about your opinions and no one cares if you’re funny, unless you’re Chrissy Teigen.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Stop looking up your dreams on dream interpreter websites, Cancer. They aren’t supposed to make any sense. Just like “Donnie Darko.”
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
People laugh at you, Leo, because your favorite book is “Catcher in the Rye” and your favorite movie is “Joe Dirt.” Just because you have a mullet doesn’t mean you’re allowed to openly talk about how great you think “Joe Dirt” is.
Virgo (Aug. 23- Sept. 22)
The stars will only be in your favor, Virgo, if you stop being selfish and give me $20. You can find me in the West Campus cafeteria. First floor, Santa Catalina building. See you soon.
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Libra, you need to stop getting drunk on weekdays. You can’t steal the Declaration of Independence. You can only borrow it.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Stop calling your ex, Scorpio. This isn’t a Drake song.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Hey Sagittarius, here’s some advice. Stop ruining people’s lives. Everyone will surely appreciate it.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
You’re not going to pass your classes if you sleep in, Capricorn. Do you want to stay here forever? I didn’t think so. Get it together, asshole.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
You’ve been feeling stressed, Aquarius. It’s time for you to unwind, drink wine and cry while binge-watching “Naked and Afraid.”
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
You feel like no one understands you and I get it, but stop Googling your astrological compatibility with Joe Biden. He’s married.
By AUSTIN AGUILAR
Laura Milkins, a Pima Community College art instructor, has completed two “walking projects” and hosts a radio show.
The walking projects started with her realizing that she didn’t walk anywhere in Tucson because she lived in what was considered a bad neighborhood.
She had the idea to walk everywhere she went in town, but added, “What if everybody I came across, I’d ask them to walk with me and share a story?”
After she had walked in Tucson for a while, a friend and mentor suggested she try it in Mexico City. Milkins applied for and received a grant to fund the project.
WALKING PROJECT: MEXICO CITY
Beginning on April 21, 2009, Milkins walked Avenida de los Insurgentes, an avenue that runs north and south in the center of Mexico City. She compared it to walking Broadway in New York City.
Milkins would only walk if somebody walked with her and told a story, and each night she blogged about the stories.
Soon after she began the project, the swine flu broke out in Mexico City. “I watched the whole city shut down,” Milkins said.
Nevertheless, Milkins managed to walk with 60 people. She was interviewed on national radio, and a newspaper from her hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan, wrote a front-page article on herself and her project.
The article discussed the United States’ relationship with Mexico and whether Americans could become good neighbors.
“I want to go trust Mexico,” Milkins said.
The project made her think about the United States, and how “we have this idea that we live in a dangerous country.”
She disagrees. “The only thing that makes it dangerous is fear,” she said.
Milkins set out to prove that if you get to know and meet people, you will actually live in a safe place. “I think it’s a mindset,” she said.
With that, she decided to walk from Tucson to Grand Rapids.
WALKING PROJECT: ACROSS AMERICA
Beginning May 1, 2011, Milkins recorded the 2,007-mile walk from Tucson on a live webcam 24 hours a day.
Milkins Skyped weekly with videographers to make short episodes recounting her week. The episodes can be found on YouTube.
She stayed the nights with people she met through community organizations. Milkins did so because she couldn’t tell who a person is on the Internet, and because everyone knows everyone in community organizations.
Milkins’s mother would look up information and call ahead to the next town she would stay in, often as small as 250 people. Her mother would even call the post office to find out who the nice people were.
Milkins often had chains of people who would call a friend in the next town that she could stay with. She cooked for and chatted with her welcoming hosts.
Eventually the chain ran out, so Milkins tried another tack.
“I would walk into City Hall and be like ‘Hi, I’m doing a project,’” Milkins said. “And I’d end up staying with the mayor that night.”
She would have the people she stayed with pick her up and drop her off at the same point. “I walked the whole thing,” Milkins said.
“People would stop on the side of the road,” she said. “They’d, like, have a care package and a hundred dollars and they’d just give it to me.”
Some asked Milkins if she was afraid. Her reply? “We do not live in a scary country, we live in a country full of the nicest people.”
Five months later, she made it to Grand Rapids. Her stepfather had died the day she told him she was starting her journey, and her father died two months after she arrived.
SETTLING IN TUCSON
Milkins returned to Tucson looking for a job, and thought about PCC.
A friend called soon after her arrival, and said she had just given her notice. Milkins then applied and was teaching the same year.
A year later, she was thinking about how she wasn’t the type of person who would give money or a care package to a stranger. “I need to think about who I am,” she said.
This inspired Milkins’s next project. “I did a whole year where I thought about the ways in which I am and am not kind in my life,” she said.
She also thought about how water consumption and other actions affect others. It caused her to become more of a conservationist.
Milkins made her own face cream from scratch, ate organic food, patronized area businesses and bought into a local farm share. She volunteered to teach classes at a penitentiary.
She described this project as more personal, receiving little press for it, but still “definitely life altering.”
Milkins currently teaches art classes at the Downtown Campus. She receives positive responses on the ratemyprofessor website. Typical postings include:
“Such an incredible individual. She’s so understanding and really takes the time to make sure her students are completely understanding the projects she assigns.”
“Laura is hands-down one of my favorite professors at Pima. She’s an incredible teacher and she genuinely cares about her students. I would absolutely take another class with her!”
“This teacher has a great energy and keeps things interesting. It is a lot of work, but you get a lot of class time and if you listen and apply yourself, you should have no problems.”
Milkins also hosts a Tucson radio show and podcast called “The Depression Session” on FM 99.1 on Sundays at 9:30 a.m.
Her personal struggles with depression inspired her to encourage others to come on the show and speak about their depression.
Milkins plans on living in Tucson for the rest of her life. She said all of her travels made her realize there is nothing special about being somewhere different.
“Go live life,” Milkins said. “Don’t be more amazed by going halfway across the world than you are amazed by the birds in your backyard. Have your adventure be rooted where you are.”
Downtown Campus art instructor Laura Milkins tackles both public and personal “life altering” projects. (Photo courtesy of Laura Milkins)
By ASHLEY MUÑOZ
Oscar season is the best time of the year. Better than my birthday. Better than Christmas. Even better than St. Patrick’s Day. It’s my Super Bowl.
What can I say? I really love movies and I really hate my life. It’s the one time of the year I can lay in bed with twizzlers in my hair and have my voice at full volume because “The Social Network” deserved an Oscar!
Here are my psychic predictions for the winners. If they prove to be wrong, it’s because the Academy is wrong. Not me.
- Best Picture – “Moonlight”
The most beautiful and essential film of 2016 must go to “Moonlight” by Barry Jenkins.
This coming of age story, unlike any other, is split among three specific chapters of a young man’s life. You see him overcome the biggest of obstacles. He battles pain, finds love and feels genuine happiness, all while dealing with his inner demons and suppressing who he truly is.
- Actor in leading role – Denzel Washington, “Fences”
Denzel Washington is a man on fire in this beautifully acted drama.
Best actor in the world, duh. “Malcolm X,” “Much Ado About Nothing” and “Glory,” just to name a few. And now he stars in and directs “Fences.” Washington could be in the worst movie in the world and it still would not be an awful movie.
“Fences” was originally a Pulitzer prize-winning play written by August Wilson. The movie, set in the 1950s, tackles America’s socio-economic conditions, race relations and familial tensions.
This story is nothing short of genius, and emotional. If an award higher than the Oscar existed, this film would receive it.
- Actress in leading role – Emma Stone, “La La Land”
Stone has come an extremely long way since “Superbad” and “Easy A,” starring in Oscar-nominated films like “The Help” and “Birdman.” She has finally snagged a leading lady role that shows how talented she truly is.
(I had to put in something from “La La Land.” I’m sure it’ll win everything it’s nominated for but it doesn’t deserve it, trust me. Check out these other films.)
- Actor in supporting role – Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”
Mahershala Ali has had an amazing year, starting with “Luke Cage,” then “Hidden Figures” and now Oscar-nominated “Moonlight.” There’s nothing he can’t do.
No one in this category deserves the win more than Ali. If he doesn’t win, you can bet your ass I’ll write a strongly worded email to the Academy that will never get read.
- Animated feature film – “Zootopia”
With its undeniable charm, wit and A1 animation, “Zootopia” is the last movie you’d expect from Disney. Its insightful writing focuses on social political issues, using Disney’s humorous, cutesy way.
- Cinematography – “Moonlight”
Hello, yes “Moonlight” again.
Credit James Laxton for the beautiful cinematography. Instead of trying to play it safe, Laxton shot stunning scenes with the boldest lighting in a film this year. He utilizes vivid colors, retains the rich skin tones of the actors and uses high contrast in his favor.
- Directing – “Moonlight”
“Moonlight” again, duh. I’m sorry, but not really. If you haven’t seen “Moonlight,” stop reading this and go watch it. You’re welcome.
Barry Jenkins created the most necessary and flawless film of the year. It’s better than “La La Land,” better than “Arrival.” This coming-of-age story is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. It’s raw, it’s real and it leaves you wanting more.
- Documentary (feature) – “13th”
I’m an avid documentary watcher and “13th” is easily in my top five. Created by Ava DuVernay, the crime/drama documentary zeroes in on America’s past history of racial inequality before focusing on present-day racism in prison systems.
(“13th” is on Netflix. Go watch it. Leave “The Bachelor” alone.)
- Foreign language film – “The Salesman”
Writer-director Asghar Farhadi constructed a brilliantly beautiful film of everyday incidents and packs them with devastating consequences.
Now, I can’t talk about this film without touching on the controversial Muslim ban that President Trump ordered. If it stands, Farhadi will be denied entrance into America.
I’m not trying to get “too” political, I’m simply stating a fact. Everyone should know that a ban could keep an Oscar-nominated director from attending an awards show, in 2017.
Cinema has a history of bringing all people together. Let’s keep it that way.
- Music original song – Moana, “How far I’ll Go”
Lin-Manuel Miranda, notably known for “Hamilton” and “In the Heights,” wrote “How Far I’ll Go.”
Miranda tackled a new project in this Disney film, brilliantly scoring an animated heroine story. It captures you from the start with its beautiful themes and composed score.
By ASHLEY MUÑOZ
I was lucky enough to be a part of Tucson’s Women’s March on Washington on Jan. 21.
People marched for women’s rights on the first full day of President Donald Trump’s term. On a cold and rainy day, not common for Tucson, our community came together to protest the new administration and to push for gender equality.
More than a million people worldwide marched in solidarity. Locally, about 15,000 people showed up at Armory Park.
As a participant, I was beyond inspired by the love and positivity coming from men and women. Many people believe there’s nothing we can do now that Trump is president, but that’s not true. This march was filled with hope, a bit of sadness and a reality check we all needed.
Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva were two of the many speakers.
I asked Rothschild what the walk meant to him.
“The American people are standing up in great masses all over the country and here in Tucson, and they’re saying we will be listened to,” he said. “We are willing to work with you, but if you aren’t willing to work with us then change will have to be made.”
The hate rhetoric of the past year is not part of American tradition, Rothschild added.
“I think it’s motivating people, activating people, and maybe that’s what we needed,” he said. “There are those times when people become complacent and as you can see, these will not be complacent times.”
Grijalva said people who can’t vote, whether they’re too young or don’t have documentation, still have crucial roles to play.
“For the young, the protection of schools and their opportunities to go further on are going to be big issues,” he said. “They need to protect that and make sure that we don’t see, with this administration, the destruction of public education like community colleges.”
He stressed the importance of undocumented residents, including blended families and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival students.
“They live next door to us, their kids go to school with us,” he said. “They’re a part of this community and they should know that and act that way.”
Grijalva pledged to do everything he can to shield DACA students.
“We will continue to fight for and protect those kids,” he said. “We’ll try and make sure that it isn’t a crazy regime of deportation by this president.”
I remain inspired by the Women’s March.
We are an America coming together for gender equality. We’re not here to destroy the nation, we’re here to build and rebuild.
The people, not a celebrity, have the power to make America great again.
By RENE ESCOBAR
Elialie, a 23-year-old Pima Community College student from Cameroon, was born into a civil war.
In her hometown of Edea, people lived in the rubble of demolished buildings. Many children were orphaned, unclothed and starving.
“I hated where I lived,” she said. “I wanted to leave every day I was there, but leaving was just about a dream for me.”
Cameroon is one of the poorest countries in the world, according to TheWorldBank.org, with 48 percent of its residents living in poverty.
The country has never recovered from the Kamerun Campaign during World War I, when many towns and villages were flattened by artillery. Because Cameroon lacks money, very little debris has been cleared.
Elialie, who asked that only her first name be used, now attends PCC. She’s majoring in public health and currently taking classes in writing, Spanish and geography.
During her childhood, she learned English at a school associated with the International Rescue Committee.
Her journey from Edea to Tucson began in 2007, after her mother developed a non-cancerous tumor. Elialie, then 14, and her older brother walked 20 miles to a larger city and found jobs.
With help from the IRC and other donors, Elialie eventually traveled with her mother and two brothers to Tucson. Her mother underwent surgery to remove the tumor.
As war refugees, the family receives benefits that include an apartment and supplemental checks. Agencies helped her older brother find work and pay Elialie’s tuition fees.
Elialie thought Tucson was a very quiet place when she first arrived.
“It was very welcoming, because people didn’t judge my English-speaking skills,” she said.
Classmates find her quiet as well.
“She’s very to herself, not talkative at all,” writing classmate Robert Valenzuela said. “Elialie has a quiet character to her.”
Nevertheless, Valenzuela enjoys interacting with Elialie during class and learning more about her culture.
“She’s opened-minded towards stuff, and brings her culture to her work,” he said.
Elialie wants to continue her education at the University of Arizona. After earning a public health degree, she’ll return to Cameroon as a missionary who helps children receive medical attention.
“They are people who need help,” she said. “I want to help those people.”
Dec. 8: Fall 2016 student celebration, recognition and appreciation, Northwest Campus Student Life Center, D-201, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. Details: 206-2121.
Dec. 8: “Show, Tell, Give” storytelling contest and book drive, Downtown Campus Writing Center LB-140, 3:30-5 p.m. Free. Details: 206-7156.
Dec. 9-10: “Signature Selections 2016” dance concert, West Campus CFA Proscenium Theatre, Fri-Sat 7:30 p.m., Sat 2 p.m. $8-$10, $5 with student ID. Box office: 206-6986.
Dec. 12: Department of Economic Security for Vets, East Campus L Building Student Mall, 9:30 a.m.-noon. DES will be on campus to help veterans find jobs. Details: 206-7616.
Dec. 12: Poetry reading by West Campus poetry students, Creative Writing Center, Sentinel Peak JG-18, 7 p.m. Free, with refreshments. Details: 206-6084.
PIMA HOME SPORTS
Jan 4: Women’s basketball vs. Scottsdale CC, West Campus gym, 5:30 p.m.
Jan 4: Men’s basketball vs. Scottsdale CC, West Campus gym, 7:30 p.m.
Jan 11: Women’s basketball vs. Phoenix College, West Campus gym, 5:30 p.m.
Jan 11: Men’s basketball vs. Phoenix College, West Campus gym, 7:30 p.m.
Jan 18: Women’s basketball vs. Mesa CC, West Campus gym, 5:30 p.m.
Jan 18: Men’s basketball vs. Mesa CC, West Campus gym, 7:30 p.m.
Jan 28: Women’s basketball vs. Chandler-Gilbert CC, West Campus gym, 2 p.m.
Jan 28: Men’s basketball vs. Chandler-Gilbert CC, West Campus gym, 4 p.m.
Dec. 9-11: Fourth Avenue Street Fair, 10 a.m.-dusk. Free. Details: fourthavenue.org
Dec. 10-26: Winterhaven Festival of Lights, East Prince Road, North Country Club Road, East Fort Lowell Boulevard, North Tucson Boulevard, 6-10 p.m. Free. Details: winterhavenfestival.org
Dec. 17: Downtown Parade of Lights, 4-9 p.m. Free. Downtown parking garages available. Details: DowntownTucson.org/visit/parade-of-lights
Through Dec. 23: Zoo Lights at Reid Park Zoo, 3400 E. Zoo Court, 6-8 p.m. Adults $9.50, children (2-14) $5.50. Details: reidparkzoo.org
Through Dec. 31: Plaza Palmino Saturday Mercado, 2960 N. Swan Road, every Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. Details: plazapalomino.wpengine.com
Through May 31, 2017: Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life, Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way, daily 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Adults $9-$13, senior/military $8-$12, children 4-17 $5-$7.50. Details: tucsonbotanical.org
Through May 31, 2017: Butterfly Magic at the Gardens, Tucson Botanical Gardens, Mon-Fri 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Sat-Sun 6:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Adults $13, students/senior/military $12, children 4-17 $7.50. Details: tucsonbotanical.org
Dec. 8: Sara Watkins @ 191 Toole, 191 E. Toole Ave., 7 p.m. $20-$22. Details: rialtotheatre.com
Dec. 9: Tig Notaro, Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., 7 p.m. $25-$30. Details: rialtotheatre.com
Dec. 9: Rock 102.1 KFMA’s Nutcracker Ball, Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., 7 p.m. $15. Details: hotelcongress.com
Dec. 10: Fat Nick–When the Lean Runs Out @ 191 Toole, 8 p.m. $15-$40. Details: rialtotheatre.com
Dec. 17: Local Love Presents Festivus II, Rialto Theatre, $5-$8. Details: rialtotheatre.com
TOP MOVIE OPENINGS
“La La Land”
“The Bounce Back”
“All We Had”
“Frank & Lola”
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”
“Florence Foster Jenkins”
“Harley and the Davidsons”
“Southside with You”
“Bridget Jones Baby”
“The Magnificent Seven”
“Harley and the Davidsons”
“Southside With You”
By ASHLEY MUNOZ
Hello, I’m Ashley and astrology is my enemy. Now that I’ve introduced myself, let’s get on to it.
No, I don’t hate people who read horoscopes for fun. I’m talking about the people who are massively into astrology.
You know the ones:
- The people who base major life decisions on what their horoscope says that month.
- The ones who automatically hate anyone who is a Capricorn, for some unknown reason.
- The ones who believe a Gemini and Scorpio are a doomed relationship.
We all know these people. We wish we could help them and they know they could help us.
Horoscopes are becoming a huge business and astrology is becoming even harder to ignore. Not a day goes by where I don’t see a tweet or Facebook post about how your sign controls your behavior and predetermines events or talks.
It’s exhausting having conversations, then casually being asked, “What’s your sign?”
Does it really matter? Telling someone I’m a Gemini never ends well. They assume I’m two-faced and unreliable, when I’m really just trying to live my life.
If I happen to be two-faced and unreliable, it has nothing to do with my zodiac sign. I probably just don’t like you. Or maybe I love drama.
I have a quick question. How could the position of celestial bodies have an effect on our lives?
How does the position of constellations, planets and stars have anything to do with what our month will bring? Or what your behavior will be?
I have many enemies just because I was born in June and happen to be a Gemini. Sorry, my mom couldn’t keep me in the womb longer.
I could sit here and write countless novels debunking astrology but I need to get back to my life.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking, “Ugh that’s such a Gemini thing to say,” but it’s not. You just can’t handle the truth and you hate science.
But what do I know? I’m a Gemini. All I do is cry and watch “Criminal Minds.”
Ashley Munoz is a junior at Pima Community College where she is studying journalism and creative writing. She is currently one of the photo editors on the Aztec Press.
By STEPHEN MOORE
“Are you ready to fight crime?” Pima Community College Police Officer Anthony French asks in an enthusiastic voice.
Visions of high-speed chases and taser deployments disappear from my head when I turn and see a big grin on the officer’s face.
I’m on what’s known as a ride-along. Most police departments allow civilians to ride with an officer, although it is not the same as portrayed in the movie “Ride Along.”
French looks prepared for chases and shootouts.
He wears a semi-automatic pistol on his left hip and a taser on his right. His tactical vest is bloated with gear.
His patrol car is a Crown Vic Police Interceptor, the kind with a V8 engine. He tests the siren and lights, and pulls onto the road.
Not a typical journey
As a child, French didn’t think of becoming a police officer, and his journey to become one was not typical.
“Have you ever seen one of those feed-the-children ads?” French responds in answer to a question about his childhood. “I was one of those kids.”
French doesn’t remember much about his early days living in the Philippines in what he referred to as a cardboard box, but his mother tells him stories and shows him pictures.
His mother married an American, and they moved to Colorado when he was 5. His stepdad worked for an international company, and French attended school in Colorado, Indonesia and Australia.
In 2004, when he and his younger brother were students at the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management, they decided to ditch class and see the movie “Office Space.”
After seeing the movie, they decided cubicle life was not for them. French turned to journalism and his brother to media arts.
French spent years trying different things before deciding to become a police officer. He graduated from PCC’s Law Enforcement Academy in 2013.
He worked his first few months as an officer with the Mammoth (Arizona) Police Department. The pay was low and there were no benefits, not even health insurance.
He was the only officer on duty when he worked at night, with no one to call for backup.
A ‘miracle hire’
In 2015, French was one of about 80 applicants for three openings at the PCC police department. He refers to his hiring as a miracle, as many applicants were younger, faster, stronger and more experienced.
French just completed his one-year probation with PCC. “This is a really good place to be,” he says.
“You can kind of gauge how your day is going to go based on which campus you are assigned to,” he notes. “Downtown is super-busy. West Campus is busy, too. If you get assigned to East Campus, you’re not going to be so busy.”
French arrives at East Campus and pulls into a fenced lot reserved for PCC vehicles. He drops off some items at the police substation, and begins walking his beat.
He acts like a tour guide, pointing out a replica of the solar system embedded in the sidewalk, a sculpture titled “The Mothers, Las Madres” and the polling station for the presidential election.
“Part of policing on a campus is to let your presence be known,” he says. “A campus is only as safe as people feel it is. If they see officers walking around and engaging with the community, saying hello, it makes them feel safe.”
He smiles and says “hi,” “hello” or “hi guys” to everyone who passes.
Words of wisdom
After walking for a while, it’s back to the Crown Vic and a visit to PCC’s Law Enforcement Academy.
French says a favorite part of his experience at the academy was hearing from police officers. He offers the new cadets words of wisdom based on his own experiences.
First, he tells them about the importance of not quitting.
“Don’t give up,” he says. “I had members in my class who gave up. No matter how difficult it gets, no matter how angry you get … just don’t give up.”
Next, he discusses the importance of completing all applications and questionnaires completely and honestly.
French said questionnaires cover all kinds of topics: whether you ever drive too fast, how many times you’ve smoked marijuana and even whether you honestly complete your tax returns.
“Throw yourself under the bus,” he advises the class.
After talking to the cadets, French drives to the PCC administrative offices on Broadway Boulevard. It’s dark, and the offices have been closed for a while. French’s job is to determine if all is well.
Patrolling the streets
All looks well, and it’s back to the streets again.
On one dimly lit road, it’s hard to see an oncoming car because its lights are off. After the car passes, French makes a U-turn and switches on his red and blue flashing lights.
The Crown Vic quickly catches up to the car, and it pulls over to the side of the road.
French runs the car’s plates and driver’s license. All is well and he allows the car to leave without a citation.
Later, while driving west on Valencia Road, French comes upon a disabled vehicle that is partially off the road and partially in the slow lane. He stops to investigate.
French runs the vehicle’s plates and driver’s license and discovers everything is in order. The driver says he has friends coming to help.
French contacts his supervisor and is told to push the disabled vehicle off to the side of the road.
In a few minutes, French is on the road again.
At this point, I’ve shared four hours of French’s 10-hour shift. I’m ready to go but think perhaps the excitement level will rise as the night grows later. French assures me it doesn’t change.
As a certified police officer, his jurisdiction includes the entire state of Arizona, not just PCC property. However, unless French sees a safety issue or something outrageous, he does not get involved.
Pulling someone over for a traffic violation can be time consuming, he notes. If the driver does not have a valid license or insurance, the vehicle may have to be impounded and he doesn’t want to spend his time waiting for a tow truck.
“My priority as a PCC police officer is the safety and security and welfare of the campus,” French says. “The students are the priority, the facility is the priority and the welfare of the campus is my priority.”
Scheduling a ride-along
To schedule a ride-along with a PCC officer, complete a two-page form titled “Citizen Observer – Ride Along Program Request/Waiver/Approval Form.”
You’ll be asked to provide your name, contact information, date of birth and two emergency contacts. There’s also space to request a specific date, campus and officer.
The rest of the form contains rules you must agree to follow and a waiver of liability.
The police department will do a background check and let you know if your ride-along is approved.
For more information and a ride-along form, contact Sgt. Jonathan Haywood at 206-2692 or email@example.com.
Alternative rock has been stuck in a rut, falling more into the mainstream radio world and less into the “I want to write something that means something to someone” sphere.
It’s been quite some time since an alternative rock band made me feel hopeful for the genre.
Beware of Darkness is different.
“Rock is so stale right now,” lead singer and guitarist Kyle Nicolaides said. “Every rock band is writing very derivative and tonic guitar riffs and it’s such a bummer. I think we want to be at the forefront of that and just push the genre forward.”
I was lucky enough to speak with Nicolaides during KFMA’s recent Fall Ball music festival. I immediately got a sense for the passion and drive he has for the band and for the future it could have.
Nicolaides lists “The White Album” by The Beatles as a major influence, along with Led Zeppelin.
BOD has released its second album, “Are You Real?” after much anticipation. There’s no question it’s different from their debut album, “Orthodox.”
“It’s more focused,” Nicolaides said. “The first album, when I was writing it, I had no idea that people were actually going to hear it and I don’t think I was as focused on making a record that was cohesive.”
He called “Orthodox” very emotional and vulnerable. “I think with “Are You Real?” we just wanted to make a big rock record with every song being stadium-ready,” he said.
Every song on “Are You Real?” has a backstory inspired by true events.
“It’s stuff that’s happened to me and I had the wrong attitude about things,” he said. “It’s not less personal, but maybe a bit less emotional.”
BOD prides itself on making each act a personal and unforgettable experience.
“I want to have a Led Zeppelin, Beatles or even White Stripes run where it’s five years of just great albums,” Nicolaides said.
“Creatively and personally, I just want to write the best albums we can,” he added. “I want to be able to turn this into a headline band, sell out venues and just take one step after the other.”
Do yourself a favor and check out Beware of Darkness:
Relationship advice from a pro
By S. PAUL BRYAN
Dear Mr. Bryan:
My girlfriend is going out of town for the weekend and this really cute girl from my psychology class asked me to study. I was a bit nervous about even exchanging numbers but meeting in person?!? She’s hot, bro. I don’t know if I can control myself.
Right off the bat, I’m not your “bro.” I’m here to give you love, sex and relationship advice. That’s it.
You’re being a shitty boyfriend. Do you want to be in a relationship with your girlfriend or not?
We all have to deal with temptation in life. If you’re not willing to fight those urges for your lady, then you don’t need said lady.
My thoughts: The single life is the only life for you right now.
Now, I rarely do this, but I’ve decided to consult with an old piece of shit, lying criminal scumbag friend of mine to help answer your question. Hopefully, he’ll be able to shed some light on the situation for you. (He’s the kind of guy who uses the term “bro.”)
To hell with your girlfriend! Dump her. That would be huuuuge. Take yourself right on over to that psych class girl’s house and grab her by the p**sy!
—Donald Chimpanzee Trump
OK, so it’s true that my old friends are lowlifes. You can choose between his answer and mine when it comes to your love life. But when you vote in the presidential election, for all of our sakes, choose HER.
Dear Mr. Bryan:
What is a nice way to tell my girlfriend she smothers me too much? It’s driving me away from liking her.
You don’t like your girlfriend. If her love, attention and neediness are too much for you, you’re simply not into her. Y’all are not a match.
Dump her and find someone who gives you the space you need. Then write me a question wondering why your new girlfriend doesn’t give you enough love and attention.
Don’t take love for granted
Dear Mr. Bryan:
What’s the best way to get over someone?
— I’m going crazy
Are you familiar with the Guns N’ Roses song that includes the lyrics “I used to love her, but I had to kill her?”
Unfortunately, that’s not an option unless you’re willing to throw away the remainder of your time here on Earth in prison.
So what do you do? First and foremost take care of No. 1. Spend time with friends who have had similar experiences, friends who can empathize. Learn what they did that helped, or hurt.
Eat well, exercise and get involved in social events or groups that you enjoy. All of these things will help, but there’s no quick fix.
Here’s the rub. Time is the only cure for what you’ve got. It takes time to become accustomed to the changes that go along with a break-up.
Usually, the longer the relationship, the longer the recovery time.
Rest assured, one day it will dawn on you that you no longer care. You’re free of the emotional connection to that old ex.
Then, and only then, will you be open to new romantic relationships. If you start down a new romantic path too soon, before you’re ready, you’ll only be hurting yourself and the new person.
Time is on your side.
Submit questions via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, as a private Facebook message via Facebook.com/Aztec Press or via Twitter @ aztecpressnews using #prettytiedupAP. Use a pseudonym.
By KATELYN ROBERTS
We’ve all seen “Feel the Bern” merchandise, “I’m with Her” T-shirts and “Make America Great Again” baseball caps decked out on babies, students, Uber drivers and your racist grandpa.
Social media has also enjoyed the strongest influence ever in a presidential election. The candidates know this, and use it to their advantage.
For instance, Donald Trump utilized his social media accounts instead of paying $2 billion in advertising, according to a study by mediaQuant.
Researchers and strategists agree the quickest way to make news is by posting it directly to voters.
University of Arizona freshman Britanee Hudson, 23, and many others use Facebook as their vehicle for election information.
“I don’t watch the news,” Hudson said. “I, like most millennials, don’t have cable and have no interest in biased, fear-mongering media that I seem to find whenever the news does happen to be on.”
Hudson admits she’s not as knowledgeable as she’d like to be on Tucson politics but said, “I will be by election day.”
She began following politics after hearing a speech by a Democratic candidate for Arizona attorney general.
“I first became abnormally interested in local politics for my age in 2014 because I got the opportunity to hear Felecia Rotellini speak in Mesa,” she said.
Hudson was impassioned by Rotellin’s stance on immigration reform, so “started looking in depth with other local representatives as well.” She uses sites like Ballotpedia.org to research bills.
Oftentimes, however, voters don’t have enough information to make informed decisions about local politics.
This is where apps like Countable come in.
Countable keeps users up to date on local politics, whether you’re a student trying to ace a class or a citizen who wants to learn more about local issues.
Wired magazine calls it an “an easier way to pester your local congressmen.”
Countable is available for Android and iOS. Sign up for free, enter your zip code and select your interests. You’ll see your local politicians immediately, and can contact them. Each member has a profile on the app.
Users can get updates on which bills your local representatives voted on and how they voted. They can also watch voting in real time.
The user-friendly, photo-heavy layout is easy on the eyes too.
Countable offers a blog for daily news, and frequently rotates house and senate bill bios. Videos explain basics like why political ads have to end in an “I approve this message.”
The app only asks the user questions. It’s never biased, which makes it accessible for everyone.
I’ve personally found it useful for classes and for remaining politically aware.
Hudson put it well: “While this presidential election is of greater importance to me than elections in which I’ve voted in the past, it isn’t the president who going to raise the minimum wage or legalize marijuana in Arizona.”
By ASHLEY MUNOZ
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Oh Scorpio, you need to stop using Wikipedia as a credible source. Your instructor is catching on. Try a .org or .gov website. You wouldn’t want to fail the course for a third time.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Hey Sag, could you stop Googling your symptoms? Web MD does not have all the answers. No, you do not have cancer. On the other hand, Google can help you get out of the house. Make plans to go on a date with your zodiac match, Martin Van Buren.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
This month you’ll be in a bit of a scandal. But don’t worry — nothing like Watergate. Maybe you should stop being so paranoid, Capricorn. You wouldn’t want to end up like Richard Nixon.
Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 18)
Don’t waste your time and energy this month, Aquarius. Just pour yourself another drink because it’s going to be a long one. Stop arguing with people who don’t understand, just subtweet them.
Pisces (Feb. 19 – March 20)
Try something different this month, Pisces. Maybe watch a new show on Netflix or learn how to read. You don’t want to end up like George Washington.
Aries (March 21-April 19)
How’s your month been, Aries? I hope you haven’t cried too much. Founding father and Declaration of Independence author Thomas Jefferson is your match. Grab a glass of wine and watch “National Treasure” to feel close to your long-lost love.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Remember when you were a child and your parents said you could be anything you wanted? Even the president? Yeah, I would stick to something a bit easier. Maybe a retail job.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Lucky duck, your Gemini zodiac match is John F. Kennedy. Even though he lived a short life and continued the Kennedy curse, he still got it on with Marilyn Monroe. Make your time count this week, and talk to that Marilyn Monroe look-alike in your chemistry class.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Oh Cancer, Cancer, Cancer. I’m sorry, but your match is the one and only George W. Bush. Get rid of that creepy smile and pull your head out of your you-know-what. Hope you don’t ruin anything else in your life this week.
Leo (July 3-Aug. 22)
Hey Leo, how’s it going? Have you been feeling OK? Any regrets eating at you? Wait, don’t answer that. I’m not your therapist. I know you’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed, but you’re almost out of the spotlight. Just wait a few more months and you’ll no longer be known as President Obama. You’ll be known as Michelle’s husband.
Virgo (Aug. 23- Sept. 22)
Leave the Halloween candy behind this month. Instead, go out and vote. Maybe vote for someone called Billary Blinton?
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Don’t be weak this month, Libra. You wouldn’t want to get the same rep as Jimmy Carter. Stand your ground and don’t let anyone make you cry.
By ASHLEY MUNOZ
Beginning with fan-favorite Hollywood flicks and ending with indie favorites, these films will make you wish you never saw them in the first place. Because there are many different types of horror, I chose movies that leave a lasting impression. Grab some popcorn and get ready to scream. Warning: If you scare easily or suffer from asthma, joint pain, a rash, a cough or even a small mosquito bite, think twice before reading this list.
- “Halloween” (1978)
In my humble opinion, the original version with Jamie Lee Curtis is the only one worth watching. If you’re looking for gore, you’ll be disappointed but if you’re looking for something that keeps you on the edge of your seat, check out this suspenseful cat-and-mouse game.
- “Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984)
Huge fan favorite for an obvious reason: *coughs* Johnny Depp in a crop top. Just kidding.
The cute and lovable Freddy Krueger makes his debut in this literal nightmare of a film. Sure you can just fall asleep and hope Krueger will be gone when you wake up. Oh wait, sleeping won’t save you. One, two, Freddy’s coming for you.
- “The Shining” (1980)
Author Stephen King hated the way Stanley Kubrick adapted his novel, but fans love the terrifying film. Is the main character, played by Jack Nicholson, a loving father and husband? No, he’s clearly filled with rage and going insane. When will he crack?
- “The Hills Have Eyes” (1977)
What could possibly go wrong on a family road trip? Oh yeah, getting terrorized in the middle of Who the Hell Knows, Nevada, by homicidal mutants. Duh.
- “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974)
Ever hear of serial killer Ed Gein? He was an American body snatcher who provided the inspiration for, you guessed it, your man-crush Leatherface. This movie will make you think twice about picking up a hitchhiker.
- “The Descent” (2006 U.S. release)
The film was scary enough without the homicidal monsters hidden within caves. Spelunking? Pitiless deaths? Jump scares? This movie’s got it all. As the characters continuously descend deeper into the unknown, you’ll find yourself fearing what may lie beneath the ground you walk on.
- “House of 1000 Corpses” (2003)
Yup, another hitchhiker horror. Have we learned nothing? In this movie, teens take a road trip to gather information about roadside attractions for a novel. Little do they know they’ll become part of the attractions. Despite its basic premise, thank the brilliant mind of Rob Zombie for a most original approach.
- “The Cabin in the Woods” (2012 U.S. release)
The flick’s ability to bring clichés to life is pretty damn scary. It’s sometimes funny and sometimes threatens to make you cry. Have you ever thought about what all your terrors would look like in one room?
- “The Witch” (2015)
This beautiful, haunting nightmare, one of my all-time favorites, will spook you for days after. The indie movie centers on a 1630s New England family that is torn apart by evil forces of black magic, witchcraft and a possessed goat.
- “It Follows” (2014)
Enjoy paranoia at its finest. You’ll catch yourself screaming, “Is that really happening?” Although gruesome, elements such as the cinematography and color scheme provide beautiful horror.
The story follows 19-year-old Jay, who is haunted by strange visions and an unexplainable feeling that someone is following her. Jay and her friends embark on a terrifying adventure to escape the horrors that seem just a few steps behind them.
One more thing: if you see a girl in a yellow dress, RUN.
What’s your favorite scary movie? Leave a comment!