On National Nude Day, it’s bare if you dare (from AZCentral.com)

By Ryan Van Velzer
The Republic | azcentral.com 10:14 p.m. MST July 13, 2014
national nude day
Donn Holmes (left), 63, and Ken Runo, 65, soak up some sun Friday at Shangri La Ranch, a
clothing-optional community in New River. Today is National Nude Day, a holiday celebrated
by nudists around the country.
(Photo: Cheryl Evans/The Republic)

Ken Runo sat beside the pool in a deck chair, his skin tanned, his leg precariously crossed, concealing his more intimate parts.

“Every day is National Nudist Day to me,” he said.

Runo said he always knew he was a nudist. As a kid, he ran through the forests near his home in Cleveland naked as a jaybird. At 65, he still prefers the feel of the breeze on his skin to the constriction of clothes. On some days, he hikes through the dry washes surrounding the 50 acres of Shangri La Ranch, a “clothing optional” resort in New River. And, no, he’s not concerned about cactuses.

Monday is National Nude Day, a celebration of the birthday suit.

For most nudists, it’s just another day without clothes.

National Nude Day comes on the heels of Nude Recreation Week, a similar celebration that begins the week after the Fourth of July. Across the U.S., more than 32,000 members of the American Association for Nude Recreation, organized into more than 250 recreational clubs, are celebrating in pretty much the same way they always do. They don’t need to get dressed up for the event.

“This is something we take pride in,” said Ashley Beahan, public-relations manager for the association. “It brings awareness to nude recreation. This is a lifestyle; people grow and learn from this lifestyle.”

Friday afternoon at Shangri La Ranch was a relatively calm start to the weekend compared with the Fourth of July weekend, when all 160 of the available RVs and homes were full. Permanent residents mingled, played billiards in the recreation room and idly swam in the pool.

One visitor recalled the first time he visited a nude resort. It was Mira Vista, a “premier clothing-optional resort” outside of Tucson, according to its website.

He said he sat perched on the edge of his bed, nervously sipping beer with his wife. The couple peered out the windows until they had the courage to join the others. Eventually, liberated from their clothes, they joined, and within minutes, they forgot they were naked.

“Once the clothes are off, you’re just people,” he said.

Shangri La Ranch and Mira Vista are Arizona’s most popular nudist resorts, but daring nudists also visit the public “clothes optional” hot springs in Camp Verde and Tonopah.

According to Arizona law, a person commits indecent exposure if he or she recklessly exposes his or her genitals or nipples in the presence of another person who would be offended or alarmed (breastfeeding is exempt). Arizona “naturists” interpret the law to mean that it’s OK to be naked on public land if no one sees you and is offended.

Those interested in joining a nudist community or visiting a resort need only remember a few tips. It’s important to be respectful and not stare, said Shangri La Ranch manager Patty Faber. Use common courtesy, wear lots of sunscreen and, if you’re sitting down, always make sure there’s something between you and what you are sitting on, for hygiene purposes, she said.

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Immigration Stories

By Matt Lewis

If you are a reader, viewer or listener of the news you’ve probably heard about the protesters near San Diego complaining of the immigrants being bussed there.

If you’re an Arizonan, you’re probably sick of the immigration debate.

One editor said he was tired of political e-mails that were spewing immigration rhetoric and misusing fewer vs. lesser.

Dylan Smith, editor of the Tucson Sentinel, said he will start disregarding those e-mails which mistakenly use fewer vs. lesser.

I personally applaud this decision.

He said on #Facebook that if they couldn’t have a proper command of the English language then he probably couldn’t provide intelligent discourse on the matter.

This version was updated Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 8:20 p.m.

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National Dance Day

By Matt Lewis

According to SpryLiving.com Saturday, July 26 is National Dance Day.

If you aren’t already fed up by the fact that just about everything has it’s own holiday now, you may want to celebrate this one.

The Spry Living article’s slug says: No rhythm? No excuse. Anyone can celebrate National Dance Day on July 26 with their expert tips.

Famed choreographer Debbie Allen certainly gained notoriety for her work in Fame. She now inspires “dancers through FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance, no in its 11th season,” the article said.

She has also taken on a more personal project. Her father is battling diabetes so Allen “has partnered with Jansen Pharmaceuticals on The T2 Dance Crew (www.T2DanceCrew.com) to encourage Type 2 diabetics to try to dancing as a way to stay active and manage their condition,” the article said.

“I tried to get Daddy to exercise, but he was not having it,” she says. “When he died, we lost a great light in our lives, and it didn’t have to go that way,” she was quoted as saying in the article.

Allen says she believes anyone can dance and enjoy it. In honor of National Dance Day, Spry Living asked for her best beginner tips on how to “get grooving.”

Build confidence by yourself. If you’re nervous before venturing out to a class or club, call up some YouTube instructional videos and practice in your own space.

Choose an international or unusual style. Chances are, most of the students in your African dance class are new to the moves, too! You might feel less intimidated than at, say, a line-dancing class in the South.

Make an outing of it. Get a group of girlfriends (or guy friends) together for drinks and dancing at a salsa club. “Once you get started, you can dance salsa all night long!” Debbie says.”

The article in Spry Living was written by Katie Neal. 

Third Obit Not A Charm

By Matt Lewis

This will be the third obituary I will have to write in my life (okay well technically fourth, but one I don’t count). The first was for someone who wasn’t even going to die anytime soon. The second was a professor at the University of Arizona. The third was my mother’s (I was only 22). The fourth will be my fraternal grandmother’s.

I don’t know why sadness must consume me when I’m writing these obituaries (even for the guy who wasn’t going to die anytime soon) but it does. I also find it very disconcerting writing a document that will be the final document honoring a person – it’s a lot of pressure.

I never know the right words for eulogies, but at least with obituaries they are straightforward.

Here’s the obituary I wrote for my mother:

Screen shot 2014-07-05 at 12.55.14 PM When things get tough, the tough get going as the saying goes, but for me it is not that simple. You have to have an extra thick skin to write obituaries – I believe – especially if that person is close to you.

There is also a lot of questions that have to be answered when writing an obituary and the more questions you have about a family member the less you feel like you knew about their life, which can make you even more sad.

One of my father’s friends told me it is an honor to be chosen to write the obituary. I told him it was only because I was the resident journalist in the family. He shrugged it off and said it was still an honor.

Facebook Hack

By Matt Lewis According to reports from a man who’s Facebook name is listed as Howard Moses, some of his Facebook friends’ accounts were hacked. Their accounts said that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was giving out a reward.

“Three (friends I’ve blocked so far). (The reason was a claim of) prize from a Facebook lottery,” Moses wrote on Facebook. “(I’ve gotten) messages from hacking scammers who can’t spell.”

This phishing scam asked users for their name and e-mail and told them they were among a group of 50 lucky winners who won $300,000. For more on this story read more at: http://bit.ly/1vK690c

You block whatever come. Contact later. This really sucks. — Howard Moses

No attempts have been made as of yet to verify if this is indeed a hoax. image Facebook screenshot