Gary Coleman, the diminutive star of Diff'rent Strokes and onetime Tucsonan, died today at age 42. Details here.
I got a chance to interview Coleman a few years back when I wrote a story about the locally made Postal video game. He talked about how much fun he had firing automatic weapons in Tucson:
The game even features a celebrity appearance from former Diff'rent Strokes star Gary Coleman. As part of his tasks, the Postal Dude has visit a mall to meet the diminutive celebrity.
"You have to get my autograph," says Coleman, an avid video-game player who enjoys Grand Theft Auto and Sim City. "You can get it one of two ways: you can get it without dying or you can get it with being bullet-riddled. Either way, there's going to be a huge gunfight in the middle of a mall, and either I kill the player and the game ends or the player kills me and he gets to go on to the rest of the days of the week."
Coleman, who has also provided his voice for the game Curse of Monkey Island, calls the chance to appear in a video game "really cool." He especially enjoyed traveling to Tucson over the summer so the Running with Scissors crew could make a videotape of him handling various high-caliber weaponry at a firing range. The footage can be seen on the gopostal.com Web site.
"I got to fire weaponry I'd never had a chance to fire before," says Coleman. "I really enjoyed the machine gun. Sometimes it's just fun to take a weapon and shoot at things and just see what kind of damage you can do."
Desi says the trip to the firing range "was fun, but it was a little dangerous at first, because I just wasn't sure," says Desi. "He's really small and some of these firearms are really powerful and have a helluva kick. We kept a close watch on him."
From our in-box this morning:
BP's top official upgrades impact of Gulf oil spill from "very modest" to "environmental catastrophe."
In this multimedia project by UA journalism student Kellie Mejdrich, we are introduced to the owners of popular campus eatery Saigon Pho. Owners Son Thu Tran and her husband Quan Chu celebrate the two-year anniversary of the restaurant this month.
The Center for Biological Diversity filed another lawsuit today to block off-shore drilling projects that have been exempted from the environmental permitting process. The press release:
The Center for Biological Diversity today filed suit against Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and the Minerals Management Service to strike down the agency’s exemption of 49 Gulf of Mexico drilling projects from all environmental review. The suit was filed in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
Just like BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling plan, all 49 plans in today’s suit state that no environmental review is necessary because there is essentially no chance of a large oil spill, and if a spill were to occur, it would be quickly cleaned up with no lasting damage.
“Secretary Salazar continues to exercise extremely poor judgment in approving these plans without meaningful
After more than a decade of political resistance, Walmart has finally found a way around the city's Big-Box ordinance and plans to open a store at El Con Mall.
Inside Tucson Business has details here.
We wonder: While the perimeter has a lively collection of shops and restaurants, will anything ever open up inside El Con again? It's been a ghost mall for a long time now.
BP may have finally managed to cap the well that's been leaking between 12,000 and 19,000 barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico daily, but only after it became the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
President Barack Obama laid out a number of reforms in a new conference today, including the suspension of a plan to allow Shell to drill in the Arctic this summer.
In response, Brendan Cummings, senior counsel for the Center for Biological Diversity, sent out the following statement:
“While the decision to suspend Shell’s planned drilling this summer in the Arctic is an important first step, what we really need is revocation of the improperly issued leases and permanent protection of the Arctic. The fact that no technology exists to effectively clean up an oil spill in Arctic waters will not be changed in a year’s time.
“As the president recognized today and the Gulf disaster has tragically demonstrated, even in areas with existing infrastructure and significant spill response assets, containment and response capability to a large oil spill is wholly inadequate. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and the Obama administration should not pretend that a six-month review of drilling procedures
Arizona's new immigration law is drawing more attention from musicians who say they won't play the state.
Arizona's controversial immigration law continues to draw outrage from the music community. Rage Against the Machine frontman Zack De La Rocha has helped organize the Sound Strike, a protest against the state law, which "would make the failure to carry immigration documents a crime and give the police broad power to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally," according to The New York Times.
The Sound Strike calls for musicians to boycott the state of Arizona. So far, they've rounded up an impressive list of artists to commit to the boycott: Kanye West, Sonic Youth, Conor Oberst, Massive Attack, Spank Rock, and many others join Rage Against the Machine and their offshoots One Day as a Lion and Street Sweeper Social Club.
Here's a link to the Sound Strike Web site.
It's a bummer. For the most part, their fans and supporters are not the ones who are supporting SB 1070. And those who do support SB 1070—particularly the Republicans who voted for it in the Arizona Legislature—won't give a groupie's ass that the bands aren't coming here.
The list of candidates for office this year—barring some kind of legal challenge—has been posted by the Arizona Secretary of State's Office. Check ’em out here.
There are a few surprises. Who knew that Jay Quick would join the four Republicans running against Democrat Gabrielle Giffords? Or that five Republicans would be seeking the chance to take on Congressman Raul Grijalva in heavily Democratic District 7? (We have a feeling with that many candidates, Joe Sweeney wins the primary if the GOP can't knock him off the ballot.)
We'll have more about the Southern Arizona races in the days to come and in next week's print edition.
Our April 29 story on the Robert Krentz murder got a lot of people talking in a lot of different places, one of which was the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives this week. District 8 Representative Gabrielle Giffords displayed a large version of that issue's cover and quoted several sections of the Leo W. Banks story during a speech about border security that came on the heels of the president authorizing National Guard troops to the U.S. Mexico border.
March against Monsanto and GMOs (refers to genetically modified organisms in food) at noon, Saturday, May 25,… More