The transition back from vacation is always a difficult one, which may be the primary reason I so infrequently take them. But, even I must take some time away and recharge my batteries. I took that opportunity, just over two weeks ago by the time you’re reading this, to spend time in my favorite city in the world: Flagstaff.
Without boring you with a complete recounting of my week away from the press I can say one thing for certain: Everyone needs a break from the summer heat! Unfortunately, my 65-degree respite has come to an end, and I am back in the saddle here at Tucson Local Media.
We wrapped up our pre-primary coverage of the Oro Valley town council race last week thanks to our newest freelance reporter, Kathleen B. Kunz, who joined our team after a very impressive summer showing as an unpaid intern. Kathleen is a welcome addition to our small, yet mighty newsroom, and we can’t wait to see into what other topics she delves over in upcoming weeks.
As for the rest of our election coverage: We go to press with our next edition before we’ll know the results of the Tuesday, Aug. 28, primary election, so we’ll be covering that one online at tucsonlocalmedia.com, with more in-depth coverage of the results (and what they mean for the future of their respective communities) in the first edition of September. That will include the results from both Oro Valley and Marana, as well as legislative and statewide races.
Though the staff finished up their pre-primary coverage last week, this is the final edition before the election date, so I decided to allot extra space for the dedicated citizens who have been debating the pros and cons of various candidates in our letters to the editor section. I’d like to thank each and every one of our letter writers for not only contributing to the dialogue within the paper, but for being involved in our community. While I am proud of each and every story, section and photograph we print, the energy of our letter writers during this election cycle has been phenomenal. Read up on this week’s letters beginning on page 14.
As we finish up with election letters, the word-count limit will soon be raised back to 350 and we will soon restart our community opinion columns for those interested in sharing a bit more of their story in a more personal way. Anyone interested in submitting an opinion piece can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can work out specifics. We can’t promise print space, but we would love to hear what you have to say!
The letters to the editor aren’t the only exciting part of the paper this week.
With the beginning of the new school year comes the return of high school athletics. Staff sportswriter Christopher Boan and I hit the ground running last Thursday to watch the Ironwood Ridge High School Nighthawks handily defeat the hosting Mountain View High School Mountain Lions. The following night, my own Dorados of Canyon del Oro High School faced a heartbreaking defeat against a hard-nosed Flowing Wells Caballeros squad. Check out our full sports and recreation coverage (plus plenty of photos) beginning on page 20.
Christopher and I also spent the summer devising ways to improve our sports and recreation section. We’re always open for new ideas, so whether you’re a student athlete, administrator, coach, parent or fan, shoot me an email with your idea. Also check out Christopher’s Twitter page (@cgboan) for our newest addition to our sports coverage: Every week, Christopher will post a poll of the next week’s football matchups, and you can vote on where we go! As of writing this, the CDO Dorados’ home game against Prescott holds the top spot—but it’s up to you to decide!
The fun didn’t end on Friday night, however, thanks to the good people at the Gaslight Music Hall up in Oro Valley. On Sunday, Aug. 19, I once again returned to the judges table alongside my new best friends, Tina Jennings and Krystal Pino, to participate in the semifinals of Oro Valley’s Got Talent.
For those of you who don’t know, OVGT has brought together some of the most impressive singers, dancers and live acts found throughout Tucson all under one roof to compete for a $1,000 cash prize in front of their families and friends, all at the music hall.
The brainchild of Gaslight owner Tony Terry and music hall producer Robert Shaw, the talent contest has so far been a runaway success filled with amazing live performances, hilarious moments and lots of cheering (as well as plenty of delicious pizza).
Some of my more dedicated readers may remember me recently proclaiming that I’d found my new favorite band over the summer: a group of four grade-school kids jamming their hearts out to classic rock under the name Quadrant 44. I am happy to announce that “Q44” not only blew the doors off the Music Hall on Sunday, but they did well enough to earn a place in the finals. With the addition of their previously-absent male singer, this group of pint-sized rockers put on two impressive performances—and even played some Black Sabbath!
Congratulations to everyone who made it through to the finals, which take place on Sunday, Sept. 2 at the music hall (13005 N. Oracle Road #165) starting at 6 p.m. For those of you unable to make the show, features writer Jeff Gardner will be there to cover the event and weave a tale about the contest and its amazing participants for a future edition.
Now, get to reading already!