Thursday, January 31, 2008

Yahoo! Yahoos

Posted By on Thu, Jan 31, 2008 at 11:23 PM

This past week, Yahoo! has posted its odd share of headlines. On Tuesday, before leaving work in the late afternoon, there was "Middle age is depressing, study says." Right on. Meant just for me.

Today, it’s "Humans blamed for water woes in West, study finds." I'm not sure what Einstein was needed to commission this study, led by climate expert Tim P. Barnett at the University of California.

"Building is just going crazy," is just one quote from the story that made me wonder if we really need more evidence to prove our stupidity.

Did we need a study to tell us this? Did we need a study to tell us about water woes out West? Maybe it's just a nice way to create a paper trail, so we can go back to those in power and remind them we were told this was going to happen all along, but no one listened.

Growth is out of control. Building is part of that. Global warming is here. Economics is part of the issues we wrestle. Why not spend the money on a study that shows how we can meld our money-loving ways with the sacrifices needed to turn things around?

Americans haven't had to sacrifice since World War II. Somehow, I don't see us coming together to change our evil ways any time soon. My mother's generation remembers Victory Gardens and ration coupons. But aren't we beyond the capability of making sacrifices like those made during that war?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Brand New Spankin' Issue, With Extra Spankin'!

Posted By on Wed, Jan 30, 2008 at 4:55 PM

An all-new issue of the Tucson Weekly is online. Feel free to make any pertinent comments on the issue here!

Project White House update: Sean "CF" Murphy makes Indecision 2008!

Posted By on Wed, Jan 30, 2008 at 12:34 PM

Republican presidential candidate Sean "CF" Murphy has made it to Indecision 2008 at Comedy Central!

Plus: This is the big day for Project White House! The Tucson Weekly Presidential Endorsement will be announced in this week's issue, online this afternoon. Any predictions?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Project White House: The Televised Debate

Posted By on Tue, Jan 29, 2008 at 5:13 PM

Unable to catch the Tucson Weekly/Access Tucson/Project White House Dark Horse Presidential Debate on your cable system? It's now up on the Project White House YouTube Channel.

And remember: The debate repeats at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday this week on Access Tucson, 99 Cox and 74 Comcast.

OC Loves Toilet to Tap

Posted By on Tue, Jan 29, 2008 at 4:57 PM

Last Friday, Jan. 25, was a big day for Orange County that had nothing to do with large shopping centers or Josh Schwartz sightings.

The county had a special opening ceremony for what is considered the world's largest water-purification system, churning the water from millions of Southern California toilets into purified water.

Yep, toilet to tap. 

I now understand that the visual that comes from the "toilet to tap" term is incorrect. The OC plant doesn't treat the water and send it back on through to household kitchens and bathrooms. Federal laws prohibit this water from going back directly to the consumer. The plant's real name, Groundwater Replenishment System, further explains the toilet to tap concept in OC: The water will be injected directly into the ground above aquifers, allowing the earth to further filter the already-purified water and replenish the groundwater drinking supply. 

I just love the fact that a survey done last year in San Diego revealed that folks just don't want to drink water that once had poop. Yet fish poop and other runoff collected in lakes and oceans doesn’t seem that bad.

I think there are plenty of people out there in rural areas of Arizona and other parts of the country who better understand the importance of groundwater when they rely on wells. It's those wells that tap into aquifers, where nature has done the purification for us through layers of sediment. The problem is that many of those homes are near farms or ranches, where nitrates from fertilizers also make their way through the sediment and contaminate the ground water. 

That's why the system in the OC is so important. If you're going to replenish the groundwater, that water had better be nitrate- and bacteria-free. And of course these were the safety issues brought up when John Kromko rattled cages with his toilet-to-tap scare tactics with Prop 200. The New York Times picked up on the battle when they interviewed Kromko last November as part of a story on communities across the country getting in on the toilet-to-tap concept. 

Kromko's POV was all about controlling growth. If this is the issue, then this constituency needs to get to more Pima County planning and Board of Supervisor meetings, or lead a sterilization campaign. I have a feeling Carolyn Campbell of the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Conservation Protection wouldn't mind the company. 

One problem I see with the OC system reminds me of the challenges of going solar: the cost and reality of what can be done. The system, while considered the largest in the world at a cost of more than $400 million, is only able to produce enough recharge to provide water to 144,000 families. Considering the population of OC, it that barely makes a dent. 

Although you've got to the love the system's Web site and all the pretty OC people just loving their recharge toilet-to-tap water.

Poop? What poop?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Branching Out

Posted By on Mon, Jan 28, 2008 at 11:58 PM

Here’s a tidbit that might make our primary season a mite bit more interesting: Donna Branch-Gilby, former chair of the Pima County Democratic Party, announced this week that she wants to take on Democratic Pima County Supervisor Sharon Bronson, who is seeking a fourth term this year.

We hear the challenge has to do with Bronson’s reluctance to give in to demands from the Democratic Party for all those computer records during the electoral integrity lawsuit.

Sean "CF" Murphy to Norris: "Be Prepared for a Whuppin'!"

Posted By on Mon, Jan 28, 2008 at 10:10 PM

In his latest campaign ad, Sean "CF" Murphy takes on Chuck Norris, secretary of self-defense in the Huckabee administration.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Introducing TAMMIES.com

Posted By on Sun, Jan 27, 2008 at 8:46 PM

Hey, kids. If you like local music, or you like music in general, or you're at least vaguely aware of something called "music," then I recommend wandering over to the Weekly's brand-new local music site, TAMMIES.com. It has all of our normal music content--posted earlier than you'll find it anywhere else--as well as a blog, social networking, photos, videos and, we're happy to announce, The Big Word Show, a show (that local music fans are familiar with) featuring news, interviews and music videos from the local music scene.

Get thee to TAMMIES.com; create an account (to take advantage of the social-networking stuff; you can even do your own TAMMIES.com blog!); and have at it!

Staff Pick

Frida: Portraits by Nickolas Muray

Tucson Botanical Gardens and Etherton Gallery are collaborating to bring the photography show Frida: Portraits by Nickolas… More

@ Tucson Botanical Gardens Oct. 10-May 31, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 2150 N. Alvernon Way.

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