Another minor detail that is not being discussed is the kind of mischief 1000 kids under one roof can get into. They think mini-dorms are bad they haven't seen anything yet because its usually contained on campus. I truly feel for those that will live next to these buildings. I didn't even LIKE living in a dorm such as this (which I did) while in college. Hard to study, easy to party, grades tanked, the elevator pee/puke stink every weekend made me thankful I lived on a lower floor.
The false choice between towering apartment buildings such as those at the center of this proposal, and the mini-dorms we've been fussing over for years now, raises an important question about the supposed shortage of student housing we keep hearing about: what, exactly, do they mean by "student housing" anyway? Because really, we're talking about private, off-campus apartments. Of a particular kind.
There is certainly not a shortage of residential rental vacancies in Tucson. What distinguishes the modern, purpose-built student developments from ordinary-folk rental accommodations (like what I and probably you lived in in college) is, to be quite frank, luxury. We could, if we wanted to be painfully honest, just say there's a shortage of teen-oriented luxury/party rentals around the university, and that's getting in the way of the Board of Regents' growth strategy. There's just not enough swank living around the campus for kids from households that can afford $25,494 in annual tuition (that's what it is for non-resident undergrads this year, and it'll soon go up) and would happily shell out that much, or even more, on posh digs for their wayward Wildcats.
At a crowded public hearing on January 26, Stephen Bus of Campus Acquisitions (the slated to build the 14-story mega-dorm with a rooftop swimming pool at Speedway and Tyndall) told the audience this:
"We do student housing nationwide. And one of the key factors that goes into a parent's and a student's decision on what school to attend is availability of new, upscale housing with nice finishes, amenities and located close to campus."
That's right: new, upscale housing with nice finishes and amenities. (You know, like a rooftop pool and hot tub. If you check the website you can also read about the steam rooms, tanning beds and more.) Anyhow, Mr. Bus went on:
"And when it comes down to the decision of that parent to decide if they want to go to the University of Arizona or some other school, that's a factor that weighs in heavily. And so we think it's important for the long term competitiveness of the University of Arizona."
So there you have it. He's probably telling us more than he even should.
It would all be good and fine if the long-term competitiveness of the University of Arizona could painlessly be prioritized above all else for City of Tucson taxpayers, whose scarce public funds are already financing a modern streetcar project that will heavily subsidize the university's growth at the expense of taxpayers miles beyond its periphery, and whose roads are crumbling with no real remedy in sight. The university, after all, is an enormously important entity. But it's not more important than the city itself, or the interests of the folks who live and vote in it. And that seems to be what's gotten lost in this conversation.
The City Council's historic deference to neighborhoods has long been an angle of political attack for regional growth lobbies, and sometimes it's easy to forget that the university itself is among them. We go out of our way to do right by our beloved U of A—in this case, going so far as to play Punch the Hippie with the West University Neighborhood Association. But to do wrong by our neighborhoods, regardless of how tantalizing the hors d'oeuvres might be on the other end of the discussion, is to do wrong by our voters and taxpayers. And it appears this council, minus Karin Uhlich much to her credit, did just that.
"I left with less faith in government than when I started."
Sadly you are not alone.
Ms. Bird, I think your under the misapprehension that Terri Proud wants to enrich her life with accurate information that will influence her thinking processes. I think you give her too much credit. As as one who has seen her speek in person, well...she could use a few lightbulbs in her life because hers are quite dim.
Parent X, agree wholeheartedly. While rhetoric may expound Jobs Jobs Jobs at the legislature, it's really not even an agenda item. :(
Hi Ken Smalley,
I am one of those total nerds who will actually watch the Arizona legislative sessions on the streaming video feed. I don't watch every single session, but I've seen enough of them now to feel very comfortable in saying this:
Our current legislative representatives don't spend very much time talking about the economy or jobs. They might mention it from time to time while pontificating about one of their ideological pet projects (Ex: Al Melvin's nuclear plant/waste facility will 'create jobs', etc.) but otherwise they busy themselves discussing immigration, guns, private school vouchers, abortion, how much they dislike President Obama, guns, uranium in the Grand Canyon, Ronald Reagan, and state sovereignty (they is actually a committee for this now).
Seriously. Check out their committee agendas just for this week: http://www.azleg.gov/CommitteeAgendas.asp Click on any committee list to see what the 'hot topics' are for this week, and you'll see what I mean. (You will also notice that the "Economic and Jobs Creation Committee" has cancelled their next couple of meetings.)
This isn't so much a Tucson Weekly editorial problem as a voting problem. We voters reap what we sow.
Obama turned out to be more like Bush than BUSH was. But McCain would have been EVEN MORE like Bush, I'm guessing. The interesting thing is that the Republicans STILL hate Obama.
What are our choices? Santorum? I suppose the question is, do you want well-thought-out Bush or mindless Bush?
Ah,Mr. Fosca,you're a breath of fresh air in this publication,please keep up the good work.You're the only one that makes sense in this progressive town.....thanks
I think Mr. Cunninghm should watch the documentary movie "Inside Job," which tells how Wall Street lost the world $20 trillion. The Occupy movement is protesting the fact that Wall Street swindled millions of people out of their life savings, their retirement, their jobs and their homes. After doing that, Wall Street has 3,000 lobbiests who have successfully resisted reform and regulation. In fact, Wall Street regulates Capitol Hill. The disastrous Citizens United decision ensured continuation of that. And damned few of these swindlers have been prosecuted. I'm getting more angry as I write this, and no doubt a lot of Occupy protesters are even more so.
Mr. Cunnington is simply delusional -- and seems to understand economics NOT AT ALL. Unfortunately, he is not alone...
"...the middle class exists only because their are rich folks."
Aside from having it backwards, it's like saying that, in the middle ages, peasants wouldn't have existed if not for rich nobility. They too, were expected to be grateful their servitude, and abject poverty.
No, Mr. Cunningham, the rich don't bury their money in a can. They store it in tax free offshore bank accounts. They use it to pay CEO's obscene bonuses (no matter how poor their job performance). They use it to lobby congress at a rate that can be measured in millions of dollars per day. And, thanks to Citizens United, they use it to buy elections.
Their promise of job creation is, and always has been, a lie - little more than corporate hostage taking.
I wonder what combination of low self-esteem, naivete, and willful ignorance causes people to so consistently vote against their own interests.
See I told you Republicans really do hate Latinos.
OUR AMERICAN DREAM
Let’s all thank our fearless leaders for all that they don’t do.
Wonder what they’re doing now?
I’m sure it’s nothing new. And let’s all thank the bankers, yes and wall street as well.
Yes let’s give them all a great big thanks, for making our lives hell.
And let’s all give credit where so much credit is due.
And not forget to thank our congress, for the absolute nothing that they do.
In the golden days they’d have stormed that castle,
maybe a few beheadings, yes be rid of their hassle.
But were not like them, no it’s heaven that we need, they can have all their money.
Bury themselves in their greed.
Let’s rid ourselves of all these liars. Don’t need any violence, don’t need any fires.
Let us finally rid ourselves, of all those who try to rule.
Seems between the whole lot of them, there is not one who’s not a fool.
So let’s just thank them all, for all they haven’t done.
With their services no longer needed, it’s time to end their fun.
It’s finally time we took control. It’s finally time we played our role.
Let’s just say goodbye to this crooked regime.
And say a long awaited hello to our great American dream.
What the ...? Dr. Jane Goodall does not operate a zoo. And there's not an advocate in the world who would fault Dr. Goodall for her invaluable work. It's a real stretch to claim that any kid leaves a zoo with a new found mission to save wild species. Zoos are an easy way to keep children occupied for a few hours without breaking the bank. But kids are as interested in the snack bar and the souvenir stand than they are the animals. Visitors can come and go. The animals will live behind the same four walls, denied everything that is meaningful to them, until the day they die. People who genuinely care about animals will never support zoos -- animals should not have to pay with their freedom and sanity for human's fleeting diversion.
Rachel I didn’t realize it is your way or the highway. I too would take the highway over people dictating to me the “proper” way to show support. It was a crisis yes but not on par with the civil rights crisis of '63.. The only segregation I see is voluntary.
I really get tired of activists telling me the only way to make a change is to stand (or sit) for hours yelling and holding signs. Others show their support or lack of in other ways – by talking with people, educating others, and speaking to representatives. The people who made the largest difference in the fight against hateful legislation are the non-activist voters who recalled Pearce.
Sangria: I don't think James Jordan was saying the Sound Strike didn't have a negative effect on downtown music venues. I think he was saying that, given the civil rights crisis-- a crisis on par with 1963 Birmingham--musician complaints rang a little hollow since the musicians themselves weren't out in the streets.
In the summer of 2010, there were rallies held almost daily at the Federal courthouse, the state building and Armory Park. There were several large marches in both downtown Tucson and Phoenix. There were sit-ins at Senator McCain's and Mark Stegeman's offices, and a takeover of school board meetings. Nine people chained themselves to the doors of the state house. Supporters in Los Angeles locked down in the street in front of an immigration detention center. Some of these events were organized by Derechos Humanos, but mainly a coalition of groups worked together: Tierra y Libertad, the Tucson May 1st Coalition, Border Action Network, No More Deaths, Todos Somos Arizona, and a smattering of smaller, unnamed groups. As for what I did? I went to those events. Lots of them. And tried to involve folks in the music community, but was rebuffed.
I disagree with you James Jordan. You say "I'm a local musician myself, and I frequent downtown music venues" then you should care what affect soundstrike has had on them, and they say themselves it has had a negative impact.
I also disagree with you Rachel they DID unite against 1070 they even got a write up in rolling stone and billboard magazines over their efforts. Derechos Humanos is not the only civil rights organization in town perhaps you should tell us what your organization did instead of talking about what others supposedly didn't do.
I agree with you, James Jordan. While the Sound Strike itself is no longer useful, this entire hullaballoo would have looked quite different had more musicians and venue managers shown solidarity in the streets in the summer of 2010. Many Tucson musicians and venue managers spoke out publicly against SB1070, but failed to dedicate their time and physical presence to supporting groups like Derechos Humanos. While some of these people are my friends, it is still difficult for me to sympathize with their outrage at the Sound Strike. It is one thing to argue that protests against SB1070 would have been more effective had the Sound Strike not existed, but it is quite another to make that argument and then fail to show up to the rallies, marches, sit-ins, etc. organized by community leaders.
What happened to the cartoon scans this week? They're bad, and Red Meat is unreadable!!!!
I too, have made the decision to leave the Catholic Church. Just yesterday I delivered letters to Fr. Robert Fuller, Sr. Barbara and Sr. Karen explaining my decision. I will sorely miss the parish of St. Francis Cabrini. It is the most open and progressive parish I've ever had the pleasure to attend, however I can not be a hypocrite. The prayer/meditation shrine I built in my home garden will have to be my "church" for the time being.
Our Diocese Bishop Gerald Kicannis should be commended for his attempts to create a more inviting, "open" church in the effort (and belief) of welcoming a more youthful congregation. Alas, the recent actions of the Vatican were the "straw that broke the camel's back" for me, as it were. I've a feeling I am not alone in my decision. All my best, Pamela Culhane-Turner.
A couple corrections to Mr. Hill's corrections. "First of all, it is not a lawsuit, but a notice of claim; we are mediating it with the city." He's sort of correct. Its two lawsuits, not one. The complaint numbers are C20117440 and C20117439. They've been filed but not served on the City. The reporter actually correctly reported this fact: "When the Rio Nuevo board voted to file the lawsuit, it also decided to allow a 120-day period before serving the claim against the city to give time for mediation." "Secondly, it is not these folks' sales tax; it is the state's sales tax, and it funds general state government, including education." Actually, its Rio Nuevo's tax (ARS sec. 42-5031) but the point made by CM Romero is that its collected within the City by City taxpayers. Finally, I find this statement amazing: "I might close with the fact the proposed claim would not change our goal as it was originally designed, to bring back Tucson's birthplace." When the City was proposing to enter into an agreement with the County and Friends of Tucson's Birthplace, Rio Nuevo's attorney threatened to sue the County if the agreement went forward. (http://tinyurl.com/7a83gbp). When will the press start calling out these people for these falsehoods?
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