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Best Business News Item/Issue and Best Community Battle Waged 

Big Box

READERS' PICK: It's the little people vs. the Big Boxes--and the little people are winning! When Wal-Mart hired a sleazy Phoenix political consultant to force a vote on the City Council's new Big-Box ordinance, which kept ugly gargantuan stores from sprouting in people's backyards, he screwed up big-time by ignoring the city clerk's warning about his petitions. As a result, the signatures were rejected by the city. While Wal-Mart won the first round in the subsequent legal battle, the state Court of Appeals has sided with the city, keeping the Big-Box ordinance in place. Isn't it nice to see a big corporation blow a few dollars trying to force its will on the citizens of a faraway community?

READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: Ya gotta hand it to car dealer Bob Beaudry--not many citizen activists will spend six figures to reverse their own mandates. But that's exactly what Beaudry did, returning the CAP water issue to the ballot for the third time in six years, in hopes of forcing Tucson Water to begin recharge in waterways like the Rillito and Santa Cruz. Voters wearied of Beaudry, quite possibly because of his increasingly bizarre behavior, and rejected the initiative by more than 60 percent. The end result: By this time next year, many of us will be gulping a cocktail of CAP and ground water. Radio Bob, meanwhile, has gone on to a new career as a blithering idiot each and every afternoon on KTKT radio. We imagine the guys running the car company are grateful for anything that gets him out of the office.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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