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The Range

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Swings and Misses

The Range got out to Tucson Electric Park to root, root, root for the home team last Thursday, June 22. It's a shame that the Tucson Sidewinders lost to the Las Vegas 51s (the final score was 9-8), but we drowned our sorrows in cups of buck beer--a promotion sponsored by your friends here at Tucson Weekly!

The loss was a rare one for the red-hot Sidewinders, who have won 18 of their last 22 games, as of press time, and are firmly in first place of the Pacific Coast League's Pacific South division with a record of 49-29.

The 'Winders return to town on July 4 with a fireworks spectacular--what could be more American than baseball and bombs bursting in air?--to start a six-game home stand that wraps the first half of the season. And don't forget: Thursday, July 6, is another buck-beer night!

The Sidewinders' parent club, the Arizona Diamondbacks, isn't faring nearly as well. As of deadline, they've dropped 17 of their last 20 games, been rocked by doping allegations and have fallen into last place in the National League West, although that puts them only three games behind the league-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.


Sing-a-Long Sellout

Who knew there were so many Browncoats in Tucson? Certainly not The Range, which is why we got turned away at last weekend's Best Damn Joss Whedon Double Feature Ever at the Loft Cinema. All 500 seats at the Loft Cinema were sold out. Bummer!

Loft ringmaster Jeff Yanc tells us the screening of Serenity, which wrapped up storylines in the late 'n' lamented Firefly series, raised $4,660 for Equality Now, a girl-power nonprofit, while the Buffy the Vampire Slayer sing-a-long of "Once More, With Feeling" was such a hit that a return engagement is planned for the fall. We'll get our tickets in advance next time.

The Loft, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd., goes all patriotic for the upcoming Independence Day holiday. At noon on July 4, Weekly star columnist Tom Danehy, former TW automatic-weapons editor Emil Franzi and occasional TW guest columnist Jonathan Hoffman (who also make up the team at the Inside Track radiofiesta, now heard from noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays on KVOI AM 690) sponsor a screening of The Patriot. If you go, be sure to wish Emil a happy birthday, too! Many happy returns, Mr. Franzi. Tickets, incidentally, are a mere $5.

Later in the day, at 6 p.m., the Loft "puts the F back in freedom," as Yanc puts it, with yet another sing-a-long, this time with the sex-crazed puppets of Team America: World Police. Hot dogs, beer and sparklers will be served on the patio after the film. Tickets, again, are $5.


All the Lonely People

Do you have any friends? Sociologists at Duke University and the UA published a report in the June issue of the American Sociological Review--which The Range reads cover to cover every month--that determined most people have only two friends that they can really talk to about important stuff--and one-fourth have nobody at all to talk with. Hey, don't start unloading on us--we're watching the ball game.

The latest Cronkite-Eight Poll, conducted by Phoenix PBS affiliate KAET-TV and ASU's Cronkite J-school, determined that Gov. Janet Napolitano has plenty of friends, with 72 percent of those surveyed approving of the job J-No is doing. Half of those surveyed approved of the job President George Bush is doing, which is a bump upwards for W.

The poll also showed continued frustration with illegal immigration. Nearly two-thirds of respondents said they supported arresting illegal immigrants as trespassers; 67 percent said they wanted sanctions for employers who hire illegal immigrants; and 77 percent agree with the idea of spending $160 million to send the National Guard to the border, help communities affected by illegal immigration and use a radar system to track border crossers. Oddly enough, though, 47 percent of those polled agreed with Napolitano's decision to veto legislation that did those three things, while only 43 percent disagreed, and 10 percent had no opinion.

The poll also showed that 43 percent of those surveyed said they'd probably vote for Sen. Jon Kyl, while 29 percent said they'd vote for Democrat Jim Pederson, and 28 percent remained undecided. In a separate question, 45 percent said they'd like to see Democrats retake control of Congress, while 39 percent like GOP control, and 16 percent said they didn't know which party was worse anymore.


Inferno!

A handful of forest fires continued to rage across the parched state earlier this week, with the worst blaze near the red rocks and vortices of Sedona. Firefighters remained confident they'd keep the Brins Fire, which had consumed 4,222 acres as of Monday, contained near Oak Creek Canyon.

North of Grand Canyon National Park, the Warms Fire had burned more than 17,000 acres, while in Gila County, the Hospital Fire had burned through 600 acres as of press time.

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