As we recap in our cover story, the '07 legislative session is all Sine Die'd.
Sure, examining the budget is the sort of thing that can help us all get ready for an afternoon siesta. But here's the important thing to remember when talking about the budget: It's the document that reflects the values of our elected officials. Want better education? Health care? Roads? You're gonna have to pay for it.
If you're interested in a closer look at the budget, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee has a mostly easy-to-read summary.
And if you've got any other questions about the session ... ask away!
So I'm sipping on coffee and munching on strawberries this morning up here in Snobsdale when I come across an interesting article on the front page of The Arizona Republic. I couldn't help but smile as I read the article on how horrifying wait times are in AZ emergency rooms.
I'm sure you all remember Dave Devine's well written article State of Emergency, which he wrote on the same issue ... but way better and more interesting. It's really funny how much the Republic's attempt on the same issue is not only uninteresting but redundant at parts. Situations like this never fail to bring a smile to my face and evoke an overwhelming feeling of pride for the good old TW.
Here's to alt-weeklies and Dave Devine!
The immigration package fell apart this morning in Washington. That's the last stab at reform that we're likely to see for the next two years.
Meanwhile, we'll keep pretending to push enforcement by building a fence, hiring more Border Patrol agents and occasionally popping an employer with illegal immigrants on the payroll.
Here are a few events that were received too late for inclusion in our print issue.
Bentley's House of Coffee and Tea
1730 E. Speedway Blvd.
Ocotillo Poetry Slam. Newcomers and local favorites battle it out for the "Crown of Golden Laurel Leaves." Poet Jonson Kuhn performs at 7 p.m. Suggested donation $5.
Oracle State Park
3820 Wildlife Drive, Oracle
Once in a Blue Moon concert. A concert of folk, Celtic, bluegrass, blues and roots Americana music. Features Diamond Jim Hewitt on fiddle and mandolin; David Liers on guitar and vocals; Doc Whitmore on bass. $10. Children 13 and younger are free. Call (520) 896-2425 or visit www.azstateparks.gov for more info.
Christmas Avenue and Kleindale Road
Fourth of July Parade. Jim Kolbe serves as the parade marshal. After the parade, free lemonade will be served. Food will be provided for a $5 donation to the Community Food Bank. Law enforcement vehicles will be on display. Music and kids activities will also be offered. For more information, call 323-8189.
Kartcher Caverns State Park
Highway 90, nine miles south of Interstate 10 near Benson
Engine and Tractor Show. A display of antique tractors will be in the parking lot at Kartchner Caverns. Free. Call (520) 586-2283 for info.
So, there's this story in the Tucson Citizen today.
I wonder where Samuel Scheurich found smokers who are delighted to be exiled 20 feet from any door, window, mousetrap, etc., since the smokers huddled together outside the bars who I talk to are all bitching about three things:
1) The smoking ban.
2) The smokers (and nonsmokers) who didn't vote against the ban.
3) The smokers (and nonsmokers) who didn't vote against the ban, but still bitch about it and therefore have no right to complain.
Paris was released from custody today. Brace yourself for another media fustercluck.
Was this strategically planned to distract America from the immigration reform package being debated in the Senate?
Our favorite moment of the whole circus (so far)? Stephen Colbert's analysis of Tommy Chong's analysis.
This just in: State Rep. Steve Farley will be bantering with none other than columnist/McLaughlin Group irregular/occasional presidential candidate Pat Buchanan on MSNBC tomorrow—that's Wednesday—at 10:30 a.m., Arizona time. The topic: Rep. Russell Pearce's fun-filled immigration legislation.
The Range took some time off to visit San Francisco and Portland last week. While we couldn't find the time to live-blog the trip, we know our readers are dying to know how it went, so we'll post a few notes and snapshots over the next few days.
Jenny and I landed in Oakland around midnight on Friday night and, after a harrowing run for a shuttle bus, just barely made it to the BART station to catch the last train into the city. Fortunately, when we emerged from the Powell Street station in downtown SF, our hotel was right in front of us—which was a relief, because we were a bit tired and reluctant to be forced to fend off the shady characters on the street who seemed eager to guide us to our final destination.
The Powell Hotel, which we had picked somewhat randomly on Expedia.com, turned out to be in an ideal location. At Market and Powell, it was in the heart of downtown and close to Chinatown, North Beach, SOMA, the San Francisco Museum of Art and all the shopping a female companion might want to do. Plus, with bus lines and a BART station right outside the front doors, we had no trouble getting anywhere in the city. And, if your room is on the Powell Street side, you can look out your window and watch as people wait an hour for chance to ride the cable car, as illustrated by this photo. (Yeah, it seemed insane to us, too.) Don't expect a lot of luxury; The Powell is a modest boutique hotel with a friendly and helpful staff. Our fifth-floor room was less than spacious, but we didn't spend much time there, anyway. We'd stay at the Powell again anytime.
The first day's highlights included lunch at Zuni Cafe, a Beard Award-winning restaurant that features an ever-changing menu crafted with ingredients that have been harvested in a "sustainable manner." We had a great piece of salmon and a chicken breast sandwich.
During an afternoon of sightseeing and shopping, we visited the Cartoon Art Museum, which featured "Why Do They STILL Hate U.S.?," a display of political cartoons from around the world. It may just have been a reflection of the prejudice of the curator, but it was remarkable to see how cartoonists in countries across the globe seem to have similar problems with the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq and sanctioning of torture in the War on Terror.
We were joined for dinner by Tim Archibald, who shot pics for TW back in the early ’90s (Tim had a much longer run with the Phoenix New Times and now works as a magazine photographer. He's also the author of the amazing book Sex Machines.). He and his wife Cheri took us to Millennium, a vegan restaurant located in the Hotel California. I had chunks of tempeh covered in berry barbecue sauce atop mashed potatoes. Outstanding! Not as good, but fun to order: The Dirty Girl Scout, a cocktail that—I think—was supposed to taste like a thin mint. Some things work better in theory than execution.
Next up: Road trip down the Pacific Coast Highway!
A Tucson Pastorela, presenting a timely satire by the Pastorela Ghostwriters, opens Thursday, Dec. 19, and continues… More