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Diner makes itself welcome

Diner makes itself welcome


 Welcome Diner, the pale blue, 1960s structure at Broadway Boulevard and Euclid Avenue, quickly proved it would be more than just a pretty renovation for mid-century architecture fans.

After just five months of operation, the diner extended its hours to 2 a.m.

Its sister restaurant in Phoenix has been named Arizona’s best diner, and both locations have been lauded throughout the state and nationally for their dishes.

Unlike most diners, these offer vegetarian options. There’s one vegan dish if ordered without slaw.

My most memorable dish at both locations was the jackfruit sandwich, which is marinated in a local IPA. Each time I order it, my instinct is to pull a can-I-speak-to-the-manager and ask why they served me real pork.

Even if you do question the vegan purity of your meal, your server will probably be really nice about it because that’s the way they are at Welcome Diner.

Plates range from $8 to $28. The diner is definitely busiest on weekend evenings but will cater to large parties.

Welcome Diner’s Tucson site offers viable parking because it is located conveniently far from downtown and Fourth Avenue.

However, it’s close enough that downtown-dwellers can drive up Broadway Boulevard. Cyclists can ride and lock up out front.

It’s also located less than a mile from Congress Street, so is close enough for diners who want to bar-hop after their meal or for bar-hoppers who want a late-night snack.

That may not be necessary, however, as Welcome Diner offers a surprisingly long list of cocktails, beers on tap and wine selections.

Options include 15 types of wine, 12 classic cocktails, 11 house cocktails, a rotating beer menu and a decent selection of non-alcoholic beverages.

Although Phoenix-based, Welcome Diner has made itself welcome in Tucson by supporting local businesses such as Presta, which roasts the diner’s coffee, and Seven Cups Tea, which provides its tea.

The diner also works with Fiore Di Capra, Time Market, Pivot Produce, McClendons Select, Ramona Farms, Schreiners Sausage, Bake House, E & R Pork, Red Bird and Niman Ranch to create its Southern-inspired menu.

The diner is open every day from 9 a.m.-2 a.m. For more information, visit or call 622-5100.


Welcome Diner

Address: 902 E. Broadway Blvd.

Phone: 622-5100

Hours: 9 a.m.-2 a.m. daily


Photo: Katelyn Roberts

Retro lighting attracts flocks of people looking to fill their bellies with locally crafted food and drinks at the Welcome Diner every day of the week.

Get in touch with nature

Get in touch with nature


Tucson is one of many cities within the Sonoran Desert, a desert shared with Mexico. The Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Road, displays the ecosystem within 21 acres with 230 animal species and 1,200 plant species.

The museum’s goal, according to its website, “is to inspire people to live in harmony with the natural world by fostering love, appreciation and understanding of the Sonoran Desert.”

ASDM is open March through September from 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily. In June and August, it closes a half-hour early Sunday-Friday and stays open on Saturdays until 10 p.m. to let patrons view creatures of the night.

The museum primarily offers outdoor exhibits with walking trails that sometimes include dirt paths. It takes about two hours to view the entire facility.

Temperatures rise quickly, so arrive early in the morning. Bring sunblock and water.

General admission is $20.50, with discounts available to seniors, military and residents of Arizona and Sonora. For an additional $3, you can touch and feed stingrays under a cool ramada.

For more information, call 883-2702 or visit

Docent Helen Vogel demonstrates how a stingray eats before visitors get the chance to pet and feed them in the stingray exhibit. Not native to Arizona, stingrays are found in the Gulf of California near Rocky Point.

Photo: Melina Casillas

TOP 10: Most influential international women

TOP 10: Most influential international women


March marks Women’s History Month. It’s incredibly difficult to compile a list of just 10 influential women, so I apologize in advance for leaving out many fantastic women.

     10. Ingrid Nilsen

Nilsen focuses her YouTube channel on beauty, fashion and DIY, but in 2015 she used her platform of more than three million subscribers to share her coming-out story. It has garnered more than 16 million views and gained attention from CNN, Time, People and Teen Vogue.

  1. Carli Lloyd  

The U.S national women’s soccer team star is most famous for her hat trick in the 2015 World Cup Final, where she led her team to victory after a 16-year drought. The role model openly shares stories of overcoming personal struggles with the game, and voices support for equal pay.

  1. Lady Gaga

The unique musician is known for over-the-top performances. When questioned about her spectacles, Gaga said she felt like a freak in high school. She therefore enjoys giving fans a view of the freak within her, so they have someone to connect with. Gaga has used her platform to raise awareness of military discrimination, LGBT rights and acceptance of others.

      7. Christiane Amanpour

The reporter for CNN and ABC news has covered international hotspots including Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, Somalia, Rwanda and the Balkans during her three-decade career. She was the only reporter to interview former Egyptian military and political leader Hosni Mubarak. Her honors include nine documentary Emmys and the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism.

      6. Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The second female justice on the Supreme Court has been a courtroom advocate for fair treatment of women and has worked as a director for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Women’s Rights Project. At age 83, she maintains her position on the Supreme Court and will prove to be pivotal factor.

  1. Angela Ahrendts

Apple’s senior vice president of retail is an important force in the business and tech world. While serving as CEO of Burberry, she was credited with helping save the sinking fashion brand. Her success at Burberry prompted her recruitment to Apple, where she is the first woman to hold a spot on CEO Tim Cook’s executive team.

  1. Angelina Jolie

In 2001, while in Cambodia for the filming of “Tomb Raider,” the actress witnessed the suffering of citizens in the war-torn country. The eye-opening experience prompted her to contact the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Her humanitarian work has since taken her to more than 20 countries. In 2013, she became the youngest recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

  1. Ellen DeGeneres

DeGeneres met backlash when she came out as gay in 1997. Since 2003, she has used her talk show to promote acceptance. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in 2016. At the ceremony, President Obama praised DeGeneres’ courage to come out in a time that was much less accepting. “What an incredible burden that was to bear — to risk your career like that — people don’t do that very often. And then, to have the hopes of millions on your shoulders.”

2. Angela Merkel

Unsurprisingly, Merkel has placed No. 1 on Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women list for 10 consecutive years. She spent the first 35 years of her life confined in Eastern Germany. In 2005, she became the first female German chancellor. During her time in office, she has garnered praise for helping to maintain a healthy economy and strong foreign policy.

  1. Malala Yousafzai

The Pakistani activist for female education survived an assassination attempt and became the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate at age 17. In 2009, under the name “Gul Makai,” she used a BBC blog to detail her life under Taliban rule and her desire to pursue an education. As her fame expanded, she used her platform to advocate the right to an education for all women.




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.

Best Bets: Spring celebrations fill festival calendar

Best Bets: Spring celebrations fill festival calendar

Compiled by Erik Medina

From award-winning Mexican cinema to car-free neighborhood strolls, upcoming festivals offer varied ways to celebrate spring. Here are our suggestions for top choices.

Tucson Cine Mexico: March 22-26

The showcase, co-sponsored by the University of Arizona Hanson Film Institute and by New York’s Cinema Tropical, is the longest-running festival of contemporary Mexican film in the United States.

This year’s line-up features a mix of award-winning thrillers, comedies and documentaries. Filmmakers will interact with audiences during question-and-answer sessions.

Venues include:

  • Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St.
  • Tucson Museum of Art, 140 N. Main Ave.
  • Harkins Tucson Spectrum 18, 5455 S. Calle Santa Cruz. (Interstate 19-Irvington Road)

Admission is free but it is recommended to reserve seating at


Fourth Avenue Spring Street Fair: March 24-26

Tucson’s largest arts venue returns to Fourth Avenue between Ninth Street and University Boulevard. Hours are 10 a.m.-dusk each day.

Activities include 400-plus arts and crafts booths, food vendors, stage musicians and street performers, plus a free children’s hands-on art pavilion. No pets are allowed.


Marana Founders’ Day Festival: March 25

The Marana Heritage Conservancy and the Town of Marana celebrate Marana’s roots from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Ora Mae Harn Park, 13250 N. Lon Adams Road. Activities include a vintage tractor and car show, heritage village, live entertainment, kid’s zone and food court.

A parade begins at 10 a.m. along Marana Main Street. Parking will be accessible from Bill Gaudette Drive.

 Details:, calendar tab

Africa Night Dance Fusion: March 25-26

Diaspora Showcase presents a night of live music and dance performances at Grand Luxe Hotel, 1365 W. Grant Road. An eclectic mix of African sound, salsa and reggae will play from 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Admission costs $20 in advance and $25 at the door.


Cruise, BBQ & Blues Festival and Car Show: April 1

After a weather cancellation in February, the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance has rescheduled its annual festival.

Thousands of participants will enjoy live blues music and purchase barbecue as they view a variety of cars and trucks that celebrate the art of vehicle design.

The event takes place 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Oro Valley Marketplace, 12155 N. Oracle Road. Tickets cost $5, with a $1 discount for veterans and active duty military with ID. Ages 10 and under are free. Cash only.


Cyclovia Tucson: April 2

Walkers, bicyclists and roller-bladers celebrate neighborhoods and alternative transportation from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. during this annual car-free event.

Living Streets Alliance has designed a new route that makes its way from downtown Tucson through historic neighborhoods to South Tucson.

For the first time, portions of West Alameda Street and Church Avenue will close to vehicle traffic. Participating downtown museums include the Tucson Museum of Art, which will offer free admission.

The route continues down South Eighth Avenue, ending at a Healthy South Tucson Coalition health fair. Activities will include music, activities and demonstrations.


Cyclovia Tucson – midtown route
Sunday November 01, 2015.
Photos by: Mamta Popat



Compiled by Robyn Zelickson

‘Vagina Monologues’ returns March 23

Pima Community College West Campus will host a free performance of “The Vagina Monologues” on March 23 at 7 p.m. in the Center for the Arts Proscenium Theatre.

The seventh annual production will feature a cast of PCC students, faculty, staff and alumni sharing powerful stories based on a play written by Eve Ensler.

The production is open to the public. Although there is no charge, donations will benefit the nonprofit EMERGE! Center Against Domestic Violence.

For additional information, call 206-6742.

Cababi accepting employee submissions

A PCC employee art and literary magazine, Cababi, is soliciting submissions from faculty, staff and administrators. Deadline is May 20.

The magazine accepts unpublished work in categories that include fiction, nonfiction, poetry, photography, painting, sculpture, essays, editorials, satire, travel endeavors, culinary feats and performance art.

Cababi dedicated its 2016-2017 issue to writing instructor Meg Files, who retired in December 2016 after 30 years at the colleg

For rules and to submit work, visit

Andres a finalist for governor’s art award

David Andres, director of PCC’s Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery and an adjunct instructor, has been named one of three finalists for a 2017 Governor’s Art Award.

Andres was nominated in the Arts in Education–Individual category. The other two finalists are Mary Erickson of Tempe and Dennis Ott of Sedona.

Honorees will be named at a Governor’s Arts Awards Gala on May 4 at The Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale.

For further information, visit

Rodriguez wins Molly Starr scholarship

PCC student Lucas Rodriguez, who played the lead role in recent performances of “In the Heights,” has received the theater department’s 2017 Molly Starr scholarship.

When director Todd Poelstra announced the award following a March 2 performance, audience members gave Rodriquez a standing ovation.

The scholarship provides $250 per semester for two semesters. Friends and family created the Molly Starr Scholarship Endowment to memorialize the well-known member of the Tucson theater community.

Bernal Gallery receives $1,925 donation

PCC’s Bernal Gallery benefitted with a donation of $1,925 from a charity drive held to raise money and to spotlight the Southern Arizona community of glass artists.

Mr. Head’s Gallery and Bar hosted the Second Annual Desert Fire Charity Drive Feb.2-5.

Micah Blatt of Mr. Head’s and Fathead Glass, Chris Drury of Ammazzi Glass, Josh Forche and Brett Hughes of Zombie Hand Studios and Brian Jacobsen worked together in the Fathead Glass Studio to create and donate glass art for sale.

Jacobsen is a former PCC student who took Andres’ gallery and museum practices class. He now works at Desert Glass Gallery creating functional glass pieces and figurines.

Bernal Gallery director David Andres and dean of arts and humanities Tom Nevill accepted the donation. The PCC Foundation will use the money to award scholarships for visual arts students.

Instructor walks her way to empathy

Instructor walks her way to empathy


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.



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.



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.



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)




 Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)

Don’t be shy. Strut your stuff and leave everyone else dead in the water. Use the fish in your sign to help with this. Did you know Rhianna is a fellow Pisces?

 Aries (March 21-April 19)

Life is all about making memories, so do something outright crazy. It’s college for a reason, right? Make it your goal to have a wild story to one day tell your kids or, if you’re more of an animal person, your cats. I don’t judge.

 Taurus (April 20-May 20)

You and I both know you need to go shopping. Go ahead, I support you. It’s OK. Don’t stress about the bills. They can wait, trust me. Don’t think about it too much.

 Gemini (May 21-June 21)

Don’t get yourself into anything you can’t talk your smooth self out of over Spring Break. Just keep the good times coming.

 Cancer (June 22-July 22)

Make wise choices over Spring Break. Y’all are not together for a reason, remember that. Who needs this more? You or me?

 Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)

So what if they left you on read? Go out and make ‘em blow up your phone, but don’t respond. Petty, I like that.

 Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

Listen, let go of whatever is holding you back. Some serious “you” time is overdue. I’m talking about some TLC, face masks. Better yet, listen to “I’m out, by Ciara.” Even better, put up a Instagram post in something new. Whatever makes you happy.

 Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

Three words to describe your Spring Break: Young. Wild. Free. Just don’t take it too far. Your liver and life will thank you later.

 Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov.21)

Is it beer before liquor or liquor before beer? Find out for us.

 Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec.21)

Something spontaneous sounds fun. Go backpacking or read a new book. The possibilities are endless. The world is your oyster.

 Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan.19)

As hard as it sounds, don’t plan this one. Go with the flow and let the current take you. When you’re too busy planning, you could miss out.

 Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

Remember that one night, yeah, the one there’s no speaking of? Avoid. Fireball. It’s OK … me too.

What’s next after spring cleaning?

What’s next after spring cleaning?

Compiled by Dale Villeburn Old Coyote

It’s March, time to get out of the house and embrace spring. Thankfully, there are plenty of great opportunities for food and fun to get you up and moving.

Lord of the Wings: March 4

Forty restaurants will submit their best wings to compete for the title of “Lord of the Wings” from noon-4 p.m. at Rillito Park Race Track, 4502 N. First Ave.

In addition to sampling wings, attendees can choose among 30 craft beers. Other activities include live music, carnival rides, challenges and a hot wing eating competition. The event is for ages 21 and over. Ticket prices are $40 general admission, $85 for a VIP package.



Tucson Festival of Books: March 11-12

Visit the state’s largest gathering of literary authors, book discussions, workshops and activities during the ninth annual Tucson Festival of Books at the University of Arizona.

Activities run 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. both days. The event is free to attend and free parking is available.



St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival: March 17

 An hour-long parade starts at 11 a.m. at Stone Avenue and 16th Street, and will end at Armory Park on South Sixth Avenue.

A festival featuring Irish music, dance and entertainment will take place at Armory Park from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The park includes a children’s play area, and vendors that will sell food and merchandise.



Civil War in the Southwest: March 18-19

 Spectators can see what life was like for soldiers in the 1860s when re-enactors battle from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each day at Picacho Peak State Park off Interstate 10, west of Tucson.

The vehicle entrance fee is $10 for up to four people. Food and beverages will be sold onsite.

For more information, call (520) 466-3183.


Re-enactors fire a cannon during a 2015 Civil War in the Southwest battle at Picacho Peak State Park. (Nick Meyers/Aztec Press 2015)

Start saving now for Coachella 2018

Start saving now for Coachella 2018


 The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is definitely worth attending.

I was fortunate enough to finally check out the famous festival for the first time in April 2016 with an amazing group of newbie-Chella friends.

Each year, Coachella organizers bring new and incredible artists from all over the world to the remote desert of Indio, California. The lineup is always on top of its game.

Coachella has seven stages and more than 150 artists who perform during the three-day festival.

I saw most of my favorite artists up close and personal, including The 1975, Sia, Disclosure, M83, Flume and Borns.

The cost of the music festival is outrageous, but the number of groups you get to see makes it a seriously good deal.

Tickets start at $375 for three days. I paid twice that and I still don’t regret it.

Buying a ticket does create stress and anxiety. When tickets went on sale the first week of January, I had exactly 10 minutes to log on to the website and buy a ticket.

Unfortunately, the portal kicked me out three times because so many people around the world were also trying to buy tickets. Logging back in multiple times made the process the most stressful thing I have ever had to do.

Attending the festival also marked the first time camping for me and my friends. It was weirdly enjoyable, even though we were not prepared whatsoever.

The 2017 festival takes place April 14-23, but tickets have already sold out. If you want to go next year, start planning and saving money for 2018.

Coachella was definitely worth all the money and stress. It’s a chance of a lifetime and I recommend that everyone attend Coachella at least once. It was an experience I will never forget. It was Coac’hella’ fun!

Musicians perform onstage at the 2016 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California. (Photo by Daniella Campuzano, 2016)

ARTS BRIEFS: Four concerts on tap between March 5-23

ARTS BRIEFS: Four concerts on tap between March 5-23

Compiled by Elise Stahl

Pima Community College will present four concerts during March at the West Campus Center for the Arts.

Tickets are either $6 or $8, with discounts available for students, seniors, military, PCC employees and groups.

For more information, call the box office at 206-6986 or visit


Classical guitarist Lich: March 5

PCC adjunct instructor Michael Lich will give a classical guitar performance on March 5 at 3 p.m. in the Recital Hall. Tickets are $8.

Lich’s program will include pieces by Bach, Brouwer, Torroba and Rodrigo. Lich will also perform his own original compositions, including a new work in the theme of East Indian musician Amjad Ali Khan.

Lich has performed throughout the U.S., Brazil, Germany and South Korea. He also plays the banjo with his bluegrass ensemble, Noctrane, which will perform at PCC on March 23.


Chorale, College Singers: March 7

The Chorale and College Singers, directed by Jonathan Ng, will perform a spring concert on March 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Proscenium Theatre. Tickets are $6.

The Chorale will perform “Keep Your Lamp,” by Andre Thomas; “Oklahoma,” arranged by William Stickles; and “Choral Selection from Carousel,” arranged by Clay Warnick.

The College Singers will sing “Cantate Domino,” by Z. Randall Stroope; “Quick, Quick Away Dispatch,” by Michael East; “Bushes and Briars,” arranged by Donald James; and “Bobby Shaftoe,” arranged by David Willcocks.

The Chorale and College Singers will finish the show together, performing Fauré’s “Libera Me” from “Requiem.” They will also sing “Kyrie” and “Agnus Dei,” two movements from Haydn’s “Mass in the Time of War – Timpani Mass.” They will be accompanied by Susan Simpson on piano and Barbara Freischlad on percussion.


PCC Wind Ensemble: March 9

PCC’s Wind Ensemble, directed by Mark Nelson, will perform with Sierra Vista’s Buena High School Honor Band, directed by Duane Chun, for a spring concert on March 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Proscenium Theatre. Tickets are $6.

The Wind Ensemble will perform the overture from “Marriage of Figaro,” by Mozart; “Third Suite,” by Robert Jager; and “Puszta Four Gypsy Dances,” by Jan van der Roost. They will also play the “Zapfenstreich No. 2” military band tattoo march by Ludwig van Beethoven.

(A tattoo is a military performance of music. The term comes from a Dutch phrase meaning “turn off the tap,” which was a signal sounded by drummers or trumpeters to instruct innkeepers near military garrisons to stop serving beer and for soldiers to return to their barracks.)

The Buena High School Honor Band will perform “Resplendent Glory,” by Rossano Galante; “Among the Clouds,” by Brian Balmages; and “Clown Act,” by Thomas Kahelin.

The two bands will combine to close the show with “Pas Redouble,” by Camille Saint-Saens and “Into the Storm,” by Robert W. Smith.


Noctrane jazz/bluegrass: March 23

Noctrane: Progressive Bluegrass Ensemble will perform in concert on March 23 at 7 p.m. in the Recital Hall. Tickets are $8.

The band features Michael Lich on banjo, Jason Roederer on double bass and Jeff Sanders on guitar and voice.

Noctrane’s music explores the dynamic rhythms and sonic landscapes of jazz, bluegrass and roots, themes that will be highlighted in their program.

The band draws its influence from various music pillars such as Thelonious Monk, Pat Metheny, Bela Fleck and J.S. Bach. Noctrane has been featured at several Arizona festivals, including the Tucson Folk Festival, the Flagstaff Folk Festival and the Fiddler’s Dream Festival.

Noctrane, featuring Jeff Sanders on guitar and voice, Jason Roederer on double bass and Michael Lich on banjo will perform March 23. (Photo courtesy of PCC Center for the Arts)




Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 18)

Focus on yourself this year. Do the best you can with what’s expected of you. This is a good time to do some research and explore more education. Of course, you may need to take risk but it’ll be worth it.

Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)

Your sense of humor will make your honey fall more in love with you every day. Be honest with each other, and smile.

Aries (March 21- April 19)

You might want to try something new today. A new adventure will come your way very soon. Be patient, and try not to push yourself too much.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

I can see you’re spicing things up. With everything going on today, you’ll be lucky. Trust me, I promise. Do something fun and creative.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

Here you go redecorating again, Gemini. If you aren’t redecorating, you are refurnishing or just cleaning. Put everything down, and go buy yourself a heart-shaped pizza.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

You may have a lot of errands to run today, which means you will come into contact with some very unusual people. Take some chocolates. You’ll need them.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)

As a result of everything happening in your life, stop making plans and just go with the flow. Don’t think about it too much. Remember, you only live once. 

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

You will be full of energy, so get into in touch with an old friend and arrange a coffee date. You may enjoy it so much that you’ll make it a weekly event.

Libra (Sept. 23. -Oct. 22)

Memories are going through your mind today. This is good–you’re releasing old obstacles. By the end of the day … Wait, what memories again?

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

Try to avoid temptations and arguments today. Problems will be resolved soon. Today is a great day to get some coffee and enjoy alone time.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

This month will be very overwhelming for you. Don’t let anything get in your way. Obstacles will come and go. Do what you please and feel free to leave early if you’re not thrilled.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

Take an exotic trip with a group of friends. A little adventure could do you some good. Go to a music festival or even a rave, and let loose. Don’t think about anything, just do it.

Director Andres nominated for prestigious award

Director Andres nominated for prestigious award

David Andres shows off artwork titled “The Genetically Modified Forest” by Sean-Paul Pluguez in the West Campus Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery.


Pima Community College’s Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery director David Andres works in his office, sorting through images to send to panels of volunteers who evaluate nominees and choose winners for the Governor’s Arts Awards.

Bailey Doogan, a friend and fellow artist, nominated Andres for the Governor’s Award. Doogan is an emeritus faculty member at the University of Arizona.

The Governor’s Awards cover seven categories based on contributions, accomplishments and commitment to the arts. There is also a separate philanthropy award.

The nomination is not Andres’ first honor. He won a Lumie Arts Educator award in 2012 from the Tucson Pima Arts Council. Lumies celebrate art and its impact in Southern Arizona.

“All of those things are such a surprise to me,” Andres said. “There are so many more deserving people. I was totally honored to be nominated.”

Carol Carder, marketing/public relations director for Pima’s Center for the Arts, is assisting Andres with his art submissions.

“Usually the winner is someone with a doctorate who lives and works in the Phoenix area,” Andres said. “However, Carol told me to ‘have faith!’”

Andres is nominated in the Arts in Education – Individual category. The Arizona Citizens for the Arts website describes nominees as follows:

“This award recognizes educators, teaching artists, school administrators or school volunteers that have demonstrated significant support or participation in activities which foster excellence in, appreciation of, or access to arts education in the State of Arizona.”

Andres grew up in Kansas and earned a Bachelor of Arts at Kansas State University, where he met his wife, Julie, who is a sculptor.

They later moved to Tucson, where Andres obtained his Master of Fine Arts in arts education at UA.

He took a position as an Artist in Residence for the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and worked with teachers for 15 years on integrating art into classroom curriculum. He traveled from Page to Nogales and from Yuma to Show Low.

Andres later worked as an Artist in Residence at the K-12 level in Tempe, commuting three days a week from Tucson to spare his family a move to Phoenix.

As an artist, Andres incorporates ocean themes into his work, inspired by his adventures as a scuba diver. He has been a diver for more than 30 years and lived for a time on a sailboat in San Carlos.

Andres’ “Entanglement” shows algae trapped in a fragment of gillnet in the Sea of Cortez

He also does underwater photography in the Sea of Cortez and in the Pacific Ocean near Catalina Island. Most of his photography takes place during night dives.

Andres has worked on a gillnetting art series for 15 years. Some hauntingly beautiful compositions depict sea creatures trapped in pieces of net.

He’s noticed a big drop in the number of mantis and sharks over the years, mainly in the Sea of Cortez, due to the practice of gillnetting.

“What I’ve seen when I’ve been diving is you don’t even notice it, and then all of a sudden it’s on you, fragments of it, not like one big gigantic net,” Andres said. “So this has been my attempt at bringing awareness about the problems with it.”

One 2007 piece, “Entanglement,” depicts algae interwoven in a piece of gillnet.

Andres sets out the pieces and paints on different colors, one layer at a time. He allows each layer to dry and blends a new color with the last, forming a unique color pattern.

He’s one of 24 artists currently exhibiting at the Arizona Museum of Art. His art also represents the Sea of Cortez in a group show about the Sonoran desert at Tohono Chul Park.

In addition to serving as director of the Bernal Gallery, Andres works as an adjunct at Pima. He teaches gallery and museum practices, printmaking and design.

“I didn’t want to give up teaching,” he said. “I’ve been teaching a long time. I’ve taught K-12, but like this age best. It’s such a wide variety of students.”

TOP 10 Psychic Oscar predictions for 2017

TOP 10 Psychic Oscar predictions for 2017


“Moonlight” is a touching coming-of-age story. (© “Moonlight”)

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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. Actress in leading role – Emma Stone, “La La Land”

Stone has come an extremely long way since Superbadand 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.)


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.)


  1. 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.


  1. 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.

Lower temps bring howling good time

Lower temps bring howling good time


It’s the best time of year in Tuscon. The heater is out of commission, in lower altitudes we have temporary rivers along the outskirts of town, go a little higher there’s pools and waterfalls still within sight of the mighty saguaro forests.

The storms that lingered throughout town during Jan. 20-22 had a huge impact on Mount Lemmon and Catalina Highway. Snow totals ranged from 12-24 inches in certain areas and were enough for Ski Valley to open for skiing and boarding.

Snowmen populations are on the rise as desert dwellers make their way up and do their typical winter activities. Some are seeing snow for their first time; others are reminded of another place and time but all appreciate the beauty of it.

Dogs especially enjoy getting into the action. Mine loves to swim in the melt waters at Redington but once she adjusted to slipping and sliding on the ice she wore a grin the entire time. Do you and your pet a favor and get outdoors!

Seven Cataracts is a popular pull-off area that is famous for the view. The waterfalls that form in the winter give locals and tourists the opportunity for a perfect postcard.
D.R. Williams / Aztec Press

A dog, Ricki Williams, plays in snow for her first time and loves every second of it. Mount Lemmon is close enough to not stress your dog but still far enough to feel like an escape.
D.R. Williams / Aztec Press