God bless Hotel Congress.
Richard and Shana Oseran, who have owned the historic hotel for more than three decades now, have created a legendary place in downtown. They've hung on through bad times in Tucson, trusting in the future and employing an extraordinarily talented group of people to create the centerpiece of whimsy and cool in our town. It's home to a terrific restaurant, an inviting bar, a dynamic music venue club, and now, a broadcasting studio for community radio KXCI, 91.3 FM, which cut the ribbon on the new facility just days ago.
Every Labor Day weekend, Hotel Congress brings us the HOCO Fest, which is Tucson's largest celebration of live music. This year, Hotel Congress Entertainment Director Dave Slutes and his team have assembled 60 acts ranging from old-school soul to Latin rock for your listening pleasure. Arts and Music Editor Brian Smith, with the help of his wrecking crew of music writers, has assembled a comprehensive preview of HOCO Fest for our cover story. Look it over and you'll see there's something for everyone, even an old square Foothills Dad like me. HOCO Fest starts on Wednesday, Aug. 30, and continues through Sunday, Sept. 3. Get on downtown for some live music.
There's lots more in the book this week: Danyelle Khmara tells you all about how Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller chickened out of attending the Board of Supes meeting this week after she realized her "white pride" comments weren't going over so well in the wake of Charlottesville; Margaret Regan fills you in on the tribute to writer/filmmaker/dancer/border activist Kathryn Ferguson, who died much too young earlier this year; Mark Whittaker lets you know about a new eastside BBQ joint; Bob Grimm tells you why you should see Wind River; Emily Dieckman fills you in on all the alternative movie option in Reel Indie; and I catch up with Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier, who talks about a wide range of issues facing his agency.
In other news: I'll be across the street from Hotel Congress at the Rialto Theatre on Friday, Aug. 25, for the Education Enrichment Foundation's annual spelling bee. I'm up against some stiff competition. Among the contestants (and this is not a comprehensive list): Arizona Daily Star cartoonist Dave Fitzsimmons; state lawmaker and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Farley; semi-retired rock 'n' roll star Dave Slutes; children's books author and illustrator Adam Rex; and last year's champion, Rialto Theatre Foundation Executive Director (and former TW contributor) Curtis McCrary, who has been doing some intense training, judging from his Facebook page. Still, as a proud TUSD grad, I'm sure I can go at least three rounds before elimination and it's for a good cause: The Educational Enrichment Foundation helps boost the financial resources of schools, which could really use the help these days. Consider coming down to the Rialto to watch it all go down—tickets are just $5-$20. Spell ya later!
— Jim Nintzel Editor