The Bees are smug. The Bees are condescending. The Bees are evasive.
Their buzz grew loud this summer during the height of the shenanigans perpetrated by a wacky group then controlling the governing board of the tiny Tanque Verde Unified School District.
As state Sen. Tim Bee--the Republican successor to his older, term-limited brother--played with the Tanque Verde majority regarding funding for a doomed high school, Keith finagled a preposterous real estate deal with the same majority. Keith Bee could not be found when his Bee Line bus company was months behind in $725-a-month rent for storage at the Tanque Verde bus yard. Did he get evicted? Nah; Keith greased a deal to flip roles and lease, for a buck a year, some residential-zoned property north of the Tanque Verde bus barn to the district. This allowed Bee Line to escape Pima County zoning regs and to strip the property.
The Bees also are cowards. Tim Bee would frequently take a powder on key votes, hiding in the state capitol complex. Keith shows up for the votes, but is too spineless to vote his convictions or to take responsibility. He is more whine than sting: "I really don't want to do this, but my constituents want me to."
The articles are about as colorful as Oreos. Some of the most thought-provoking topics have included hottest student cars; hot bodies; cool water; U of A butts; and Tucson's hottest bartender.
Then there are the photos. Apparently, Campus Magazine does not believe in inner beauty. Not only do they make sure that every photo includes a white female, but very few photos show anybody who's not white.
Campus Magazine claims its purpose is "to provide students and recent graduates with the opportunity to display the skills they have acquired from their studies." If that's indeed the case, then the UA must be developing a lot of shallow, Euro-centric losers--and little else.
She went a wee bit too far recently when she convinced a developer that it was OK to move endangered Pima pineapple cacti by helicopter, even though it was illegal to move 'em by highway--a novel bending of the rules that didn't fly with the authorities. As part of a recent plea deal in federal court, Darling accepted a $5,000 fine and agreed to give up her consulting practice in Southern Arizona for five years. We say: Let's make it forever. Get out of town, Mary Darling!
Let's recap: Police say she apparently drove to work, where a supervisor said she had "slurred speech, a disheveled appearance, droopy eyes and a saggy face." Given a breath test, she reportedly had a blood-alcohol level higher than .20 percent.
Police Chief Richard Miranda then demoted her to sergeant (a large pay cut) and reprimanded her. But he didn't fire her, because she had a good record before that, and she has good potential. Additionally, no charges were filed against her.
Don't get me wrong; second chances are a good thing. But when a senior police officer drives to work drunk off his or her ass, and he or she gets what amounts to a slap on the wrist, that sends a bad message to the community: DUI, apparently, isn't that big of a deal.
The young trust-funder volunteered to slum in a make-believe North Euclid Avenue rental in exchange for the chance to carry on for Grijalva, a Democrat who was leaving Pima County office after 13 years to begin his stacked run for Congress.
The supes didn't buy. And Glassman, who has talked about running for everything from school board to mayor, didn't have to rent.
There was an enticing aspect to Glassman's offer--the word "move."
Please, Rodney, leave. Pack up all your inflated resumes, your grandiose and unsolicited position papers, your boasts, your toasts, your roasts (The Rodney Glassman Gentleman's Roast of Jim Click and Don Diamond? Give us a break, you world-class suck-up!), your lunches at McMahon's Prime Steak House and your maniacal cell phone use--and get that Tahoe on Interstate 10 heading out.
Skaters and hockey players who have suffered under "Commissioner" Rodney at his family's Gateway Ice Center will rejoice, because they won't have to look at the giant portrait of Rodney in the lobby.
Grijalva, kicked out of town in a good way by voters, once called Glassman a "liability." Then he hired the overgrown punk. Grijalva's community service should be to station Glassman in his D.C. office full time.
They have a nearly 26-inch clearance, which is a must when going to Gadabout on East Speedway Boulevard. The front bumper is 40.4 inches from the pavement of River Road. The baby, H2, weighs 8,600 pounds.
And you thought the Range Rover was a bit much?
I spit out an El Rey del Mundo (robusto larga) when I saw a white H2 in my mirror. It pulled around to my side, and I was stunned to recognize the driver as a friend--a fratello, he's so close. Love for him would require me to put him out of our misery for driving such a thing; thankfully, he shouted that he was doing a favor by taking it somewhere for his clearly less-secure brother. That's devotion.
Here on the southside, we see the H2s making those challenging trips to and from the airport; the Mercedes just won't do. And outside McKale Center, does Donald R. Diamond, approaching 76, really need DRD on his license plate to remember which full-size Hummer his keys fit?
Time to turn in those keys, boys and girls. Get out and get into what you deserve: Geo Metros.
Aptly called the "museum of death" by its opponents when it first opened in 1988, the museum is the clever brainchild of Safari Club International, a group of wealthy hunters who find "pleasure" in accumulating kills and the accompanying trophies.
According to one report, the club's lobbying efforts are targeted at undermining the intent of the Endangered Species Act in the name of "conservation."
The museum has worked hard to acquire legitimacy since it first opened. But all the dioramas in the world don't compensate for the fact that taxidermy displays are a grotesque testament to human hubris and useless educational tools.
The Los Angeles-based corporation, with $5 billion in annual revenue, slaps up more than 25,000 stucco hutches a year in 10 states including Arizona. It's currently hawking them at two dozen developments in Pima County, making KB Home Tucson's largest homebuilder.
KB Home prides itself on offering affordable housing for first-time buyers. Maybe that's because no experienced homeowner would want to live in a KB development. Whether you're paying out $93,000 in Arroyo Vista on Drexel Road or $192,000 in Riverhaven on Fort Lowell Road, you're buying into a walled (but not gated) compound crammed with look-alike beige piles dominated by garage doors. Not only do the junky designs completely lack a sense of place; the developments themselves are so isolated from their surroundings that KB Home digs sludge-coated and trash-littered retention ponds for rain runoff right next to washes where the water used to go naturally.
A necessary price to pay for affordable housing, you say? How many first-time buyers can afford to fix all the things wrong in a KB Home? A Texas-based Web site, www.kbhomesucks.com, invites complaints from homeowners across the nation. Tucsonans have posted gripes about sagging ceilings, too-low garages, cracking foundations and walls, mold, plumbing and electrical anomalies, bad caulking, amateurish paint jobs and general shoddiness.
And what happens when homeowners protest? Last summer, the company sued nine Texas protesters for $20 million, but dropped most of the targeted homeowners from the suit after the inevitable bad publicity.
Meanwhile, KB Home continues to dump its excrescencies onto such prime sites as a Phoenix airfield used by pesticide-laden crop dusters and an old bombing range in Texas that had not been certified clear of live ordnance.
We can try to run KB Home out of town, but judging from the complaints at www.kbhomesucks.com, who'd take 'em?
Jim Kolbe hasn't showed us that he's one of those. Most of the time, he comes across as a Republican lapdog, voting whichever way his party leadership tells him to. He's done that all along on war issues. He's done that with most social issues. Heck, he even did it with the recent Medicare bill recently passed by Congress; while some free-thinking Republican conservatives voted against it, because of the huge costs to the federal government, lapdog Kolbe--who touts himself as a get-government-outta-our-lives guy--panted right along, voting the way the party told him to. Hell, the guy--a gay man--even voted for the Defense of Marriage Act a few years back. (At least he's spoken out against a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage; that's something, I guess.)
Watching Kolbe, we get the hint that he thinks first about his political career and keeping his party happy, with his constituents coming in an extremely distant second. That's not good.
Besides doughnuts lacking all flavor other than sweet to the 10th power, Krispy Kreme outlets are a visual disaster. The korporate kretins who decide matters of decor somehow chose to use the film Metropolis as inspiration. If you enjoy seeing machinery making your doughnuts with minimal human contact, and an assembly line of pasty, white circles of dough swimming in boiling grease, then floating along to the next piece of equipment, you'll love Krispy Kreme.
Not to mention beige: Everything is beige, from the doughnuts, to the glaze, to the plastic seating. With blah surroundings and cloying taste, Krispy Kreme should pack it up and move it out.
"His grandfather founded Gerber Baby Foods. His next door neighbor was Walt Disney É but what really inspired him were family vacations in Palm Springs at a place called Smoke Tree Ranch. That's where he learned to love the desert landscape and the traditions that make a destination memorable."
So Phinny, described by his people in New York as a "visionary," blew through $13.4 million (public records reveal) to assemble the 1,047 acres that is now Saguaro Ranch at the real Tortolita, but annexed by Marana. About $1.25 million will get you a 4.1-acre lot at Phinnyville, but what will truly be memorable will be his blasting to tunnel under the rocky, hilly desert to extend Thornydale Road.
Phinny is a protected species. He kisses the right butt, including the northwest side's enviro-rulers and Raul Grijalva, who swallowed maximum cash contributions from Phinny for his virgin congressional run last year.
Phinny also lives in Telluride, Colo., which is reason enough to kick him out of Tucson, Tortolita and even Marana. As a favor to the real people of San Miguel County, Colo., we'll boot him from there, too.
What they really proposed was improving the bus system, going for a limited light-rail system and repairing some crumbling city streets. The screeching hysteria against the public-transpo plan came mostly from the rich guys whose considerable fortunes depend on regularly getting everybody into new cars, and persuading those buyers to drive their gas guzzlers to new homes in subdivisions flung farther and farther out in the heretofore-unspoiled desert.
So what's the problem, Jim Click, Don Mackey, Bob Beaudry, Steve Christy and Don Diamond? Don't want your cleaning ladies to have an easier time riding the bus to clean your mansions? Not worried that the dishwashers cleaning up after your meal at the country club have no way of getting home from work? Don't want the teens in one-car families to get to high school on time? Don't want out-of-towners to have a cheap ride in from the airport?
Well, fellas, I've got news for you: Your ugly class politics are not welcome here. Other cities, yes, even cities in the car-mad Southwest, are preparing to add light rail or already have. San Diego has a model public transportation system of buses and small trains. Even Phoenix is going for light rail. Your antediluvian rantings are leaving Tucson, once again, embarrassingly behind the times. So here's a suggestion: Hop into your energy-sucking, world-politics-destabilizing, polluting vehicles, your SUVs, your Jeeps, your Chryslers, your Fords, your Plymouths, your Oldsmobiles, your Lincolns, and get out of town. And good riddance.
It's outrageous that Rufe would toss somebody with that much experience and expertise out of the museum. Who suffers? Not Rufe, who still gets her paycheck every week. It's the people of Tucson, who lose out on a wealth of expertise, personal connections and passion for the arts. We want Joanne back. Get out of town, Laurie Rufe!
And yet, this is exactly what Jeff Scurran did when he started the Pima football team--and the dolts at Pima bent over and took it! Scurran left scandal-ridden Sabino High amid widespread rumors of performance-enhancing substance use among players. The school got popped for providing phantom classes to football players, "taught" by an assistant football coach.
He then became the first football coach in Pima history, and instead of trying to curry the community's favor, he pissed everybody off by headquartering the team at a branch campus, and then coming up with a stupid name (The Storm) along with a completely different color scheme for his team.
We're tempted to put together an Aztec team, sporting orange and brown, at the Main campus and kick his ass.
This is why the Citizen needs to be put out of its misery. There's no way Gannett's going to provide some infusion of cash and move it to morning publication--the joint operating agreement of Tucson Newspapers wouldn't let them, anyway--so, barring some miracle, it's only a matter of time before the Citizen is toast. The Citizen's circulation is so small that it's already irrelevant; it can't even compete with the mediocrity that the Star puts out.
Good-bye, Tucson Citizen. We'd say that you'll be missed É but based on your lack of readers, you're essentially gone already.
Sound good? It depends on who you ask.
Industry professionals will tell you the dogs are treated humanely. They are given good food, clean living conditions and a fine social environment. Animal rights supporters will tell you the dogs are treated terribly, with cases of animal mistreatment at their fingertips. Search the Internet for a few moments, and you will find both sides of the story.
But let's look beyond these two sides for a minute. Think of what is actually happening: slapping a number on the dog's back and betting money as to how fast it will run. Suppose we slapped a number on your Aunt Betty and told her to run down the street while you wagered with your buddy as to how fast she'd get there. Doesn't sound too pretty, does it? Neither does racing dogs for human profit.
But seeing as nothing/nobody we're kicking out of town here will actually leave, we'll stay, too. And we'll do everything we can to keep the adult stuff in the adult section, where it belongs.
Sixth Street has long been one of the most pleasant routes to the city center, serving as a bricks-and-mortar history of Tucson architecture. Starting among 1960s suburban red brick houses, Sixth wends west through Sam Hughes' 1920s bungalows, past the great ark of the UA football stadium and the handsome UA rec center, on by the old Mission Revival Mansfeld Middle School and classic Tucson High, and alongside warehouses intelligently renovated into galleries and offices. The UA should have made an effort to acknowledge this interesting context, softening the garage's façade with first-floor retail, restaurants or offices that relate to the street's life.
There's not much of a chance that this garage will be really kicked out of town; with an $18.5 million price tag, this monstrosity will mar a gateway to downtown for generations to come.
Let's say you are a newcomer in need of an emergency room. You make the mistake of using Verizon's SuperPages to find the hospital nearest to you. (It was recently delivered to your door, so it must be the most up-to-date, you erroneously conclude. Besides, you don't have any other directory.) Heading for the closest listed hospital, Tucson General, you create a hazard as you careen through traffic while attempting to stanch the spurting blood from a cut you hope is not arterial. With no way of knowing Tucson General is shut down and Tucson Medical Center is about the same distance away, you put yourself at risk.
We looked at eight categories and found dumb errors in each of them. The only thing super about this colossal waste of paper is the super number of omissions and goofs. And to think: Trees died for this.
Our advice: Tear out and use the coupons so local businesses suckered into advertising see some return on their money, then recycle this useless mess. As for Verizon: Take your PatheticPages out of town.
Don't look now, but according to an April Inside Tucson Business report, the folks at the drugstore monopoly plan on maintaining their aggressive expansion strategy during the next several years. There are already more than 40 stores in Tucson, outnumbering Mickey D's. We're not lovin' that.
The chain blankets cities nationwide. As of Oct. 31, 2003, there were 205 stores in Arizona. But that's only a fraction of what's in Florida--a state less than half the size of the Grand Canyon State. The sunshine dwellers there have to contend with a whopping 609 stores.
Back in Tucson, our corners are already too crowded with those big red letters. Enough already. Pack up those building supplies and hit the road. And don't you build no more, no more.