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Stop ignoring the homeless

Sick of the homeless folks lurking about the wash, river walk and park?

Then do something about it.

No, you don’t have to open your bedroom to total strangers, but you can help by attending a fundraising benefit concert and art auction at the Center for Creative Chaos.

The event runs from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. on June 29 at the Z Mansion, 288 N. Church Ave.

It’s $5 to get in, but you get a lot for that five bucks, like a performance by the coolest man standing, Black Man Clay, who is one of four musical acts scheduled for the event.

Black Man Clay is a riot/File photo Francisco Medina
Black Man Clay is a riot/File photo Francisco Medina

You can also join a raffle to win New Mexico artist Sarah Smith’s Day of the Dead art or bid on other art that is part of the silent auction that starts June 26 through 29.

A news release from the Center adds more info:

The Center for Creative Chaos educates the public on the reality of the conditions of homelessness and poverty through video and advocacy activities. You can help support their mission by attending this summer event filled with music, art, refreshments and conversation. Recent video projects provide an intimate glimpse at homeless people that most of us never encounter.

Even if you can’t make the June 29 event, you can help the homeless through the Center in other ways. Every other Saturday at noon the Center conducts a Feed The Homeless Project at Santa Rita Park, Third Avenue and 22nd Street. The release notes:

You can participate by donating sandwiches, prepared lunches, pizza, hamburgers, soda, water, juices, clothing, blankets, toiletries or anything that you figure that people that don’t have anything can use. Or you can help enliven their lives by listening to their stories and communicating with them.

The Center for Creative Chaos is at:
739 N. Fourth Ave. (next to the Epic Cafe), 623-9061
Regular gallery hours are 1 to 8 p.m., Mon. through Wed.
Website: http://companies.to/thecenterforcreativechaos/

The Center for Creative Chaos is under the fiscal sponsorship of Pan Left Productions http://panleft.org/. Tax free donations can be made through Pan Left by indicating the Center for Creative Chaos.

Photo Ryn Gargulinski
Photo Ryn Gargulinski

Do you help the homeless?
Have you ever been homeless?
Have you ever been helped?

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Raging wildfire causing concern

Raging wildfires are one of the many dry-weather joys of living in Tucson. They usually kick around for awhile, displacing rabbits and field mice, then peter out or become contained.

The Elk Horn Fire, in the Baboquivari Peak Wilderness Area about 50 miles southwest of Tucson, has been causing quite a stir since it began June 11.

The fire is “human caused, ” according to the Arizona State Forestry Division.

As of Tuesday, the Elk Horn has consumed 14,500 acres and is only 18 percent contained and expected to burn for several more days. The terrain is rough and ragged, making access tough for fire crews. Two helicopters, six engines, four water tenders, four hand crews, three hotshot crews and a grand total of 215 personnel have been fighting this blaze.

Elk Horn Fire/AZ State Forestry
Elk Horn Fire/AZ State Forestry

This particular fire is noxious enough to have prompted the American Lung Association of Arizona and Pima County Department of Environmental Quality to issue a smoke advisory.

The advisory warns people, especially those with respiratory problems, to take caution. It also advises:

• Not to jog, jump rope or exert yourself in smoky areas
• Close your doors and windows
• Use air conditioning rather than evaporative coolers, since the latter will just suck smoke into your home

Other helpful tips should include:

• Don’t stand directly beneath a big billow of smoke and take in an expansive, gulping breath
• Don’t venture southwest of town into the burning brush to see what all the hubbub is about
• Don’t try to emulate the Elk Horn, or any other wildfire, in your barbecue grill.

Barbecue/Ryn Gargulinski
Barbecue/Ryn Gargulinski
Unattended barbecue/Ryn Gargulinski
Unattended barbecue/Ryn Gargulinski

Still worried? Check out air pollution levels at the PDEQ website or call the PDEQ hotline at
(520) 882-4AIR. This way you know if you should go north for the summer.

Have you ever gotten up and close and personal with a raging wildfire?

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The Roswell experience – Companion piece to Report from Area 51

Aliens blasting down to take over the planet has always been a scintillating thought.

Sure, we may end up getting our brains bisected, but at least we would no longer have to worry about mundane things, like emptying the dishwasher or folding laundry.

Since our Logical Lizard Geoffrey Notkin posted about his and Caroline’s experience near Nevada’s Area 51, I thought it only fair to chime in with my own alien excursion.

Welcome to Roswell, New Mexico

Roswell street lamp/Ryn Gargulinski
Roswell street lamp/Ryn Gargulinski
Roswell soda machine/Ryn Gargulinski
Roswell soda machine/Ryn Gargulinski

If nothing else, Roswell is cashing in on the aliens that began landing there in the 1940s by hooking up the town with alien-themed everything.

Despite its jovial outward appearance, some Roswellians seemed pretty cranky. One man who ran one of those kitschy alien novelty shops was downright rude. When I asked if there was a bathroom I could use, he pointed at the wastebasket.

What we should do to the rude man/Ryn Gargulinski
What we should do to the rude man/Ryn Gargulinski

Maybe he was mad because if you took photos in the alien museum, which was dark but became illuminated by the flash, you could tell some of the alien beings were held to the wall with duct tape.

Duct taped alien/Ryn Gargulinski
Duct taped alien/Ryn Gargulinski
Alien behind a shower curtain/Ryn Gargulinski
Alien behind a shower curtain/Ryn Gargulinski
Alien near a metal thing/Ryn Gargulinski
Alien near a metal thing/Ryn Gargulinski

While it was evident the duct-taped aliens were not real, I do like to believe in the other incidents. Like one of my friends said about the spacecraft and debris found by a New Mexico man in the 1940s: “Why would a farmer lie, Ryn, why would a farmer lie?”

Besides, any alien is sure to be nicer than that grouchy old pee-in-the-wastebasket man.

Our friend the alien/File photo
Our friend the alien/File photo
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Shots fired at parks and wildlife crew on the border

Men and women in uniform may look official, snappy and, depending on the uniform, sometimes even sexy, but they are also easy targets for gun-toting Mexicans along the border.

It doesn’t matter if the uniform denotes Border Patrol, cops or even a wildlife or parks worker.

Game and Fish officer, 2 other agency employees fired upon near Mexico border, AZ Game and Fish Dept. news release:

PHOENIX – Three government agency employees, including an officer with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, another Game and Fish employee, and an employee with Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation, were fired upon the afternoon of June 11 by a group of men they encountered while scouting the area for a land access project in southern Arizona.

None of the agency employees were injured.

The three were riding all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) on a road through a small canyon area about four miles east of Arivaca Lake when they encountered a group described as at least four Hispanic males dressed in camouflage.

According to Leonard Ordway, supervisor for Game and Fish’s Tucson region, two of the individuals in camouflage immediately fled a short distance up a hill and dropped down in the grass upon the encounter, while the agency employees backed out of the immediate vicinity and regrouped.

After a few minutes, the Game and Fish officer crept up a small rise a short distance from the road to look over the scene with binoculars. He observed two other males in camouflage in the area, but in a different direction from the first two. He then started back down the hill to return to the ATVs.

“As he started back down to the quads, a gunshot coming from the direction where the first two individuals had fled impacted the ground about 10 feet behind him,” said Ordway.

The three agency employees immediately departed the area and notified Game and Fish Radio Dispatch, which in turn notified the Border Patrol, Pima County Sheriff’s Office, and the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

About 30-40 law enforcement personnel, aided by three helicopters, were on site within 45 minutes to search the area and investigate the scene. They were not able to find the suspects but did recover several fresh 9mm casings from the area where the initial shot came from, indicating subsequent shots may have been fired as the agency employees were leaving the area.

“We’re thankful no one was hurt,” said Game and Fish Director Larry Voyles. “Our law enforcement officers and other field personnel often work in remote areas, and (this) incident serves as a reminder of the potential dangers that they—and personnel from other agencies—face in areas near the border.”

Voyles added that Game and Fish is reviewing its operating procedures for employees working in borderland areas.

Maybe parks, wildlife and natural resources employees along the border can change their uniforms to something less official-looking, like cut-offs and tank tops. But was it the uniforms that helped prompt the shooting or would the men have shot at anything that moved?

What do you think?

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Artist’s Sketchbook: Weekend haul (photo post)

Anyone who spent their weekend lazing on a hammock, I envy you. Mine was largely spent bent over shards of metal fashioning them into freaky pieces. If I didn’t love creating art, I’d be really cranky right about now. And yes, I know I still owe someone some evil windchimes – next weekend, promise!

Much of the haul from the past two weeks is going to the creative folks for review at Bohemia: An Artisans Emporium. Hopefully they’ll find them dashing and include them in their stock. If not, my yard will be even more like Candyland.

Would also enjoy any reader comments, if you have any. Here’s some options to get the juices flowing:

a. These are so cool I want to fall over.

b. These are so ugly I want to fall over.

c. My bird needs three of the “Beware of Bird” signs because he tries to poke out people’s eyeballs.

d. My gerbil bit me and it made me accidentally kill him.

e. My cat pukes all the time and I always step in it in the middle of the night.

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