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Going, Going, Gone 

A few things we'd be better off without.

People (and things) that just need to go away:

· The absolutely shameless whiners who are protesting against any and all sites for the new high school in the Tanque Verde School District. They're all a bunch of selfish, short-sighted, greedy suckers. Each and every one of those people is an example of the old saying about how excuses are like (a certain body part); everybody's got one and they all stink.

One guy is fighting a new high school because it might have an impact of his hobby of astronomy. Another claims to worry about pollution. (Yeah, those textbooks and basketballs can really foul the air.) And one woman raises selfishness to an art form by holding up a sign that reads: "TVSD (Tanque Verde School District) is for land; not kids."

It's a school district, you simpering dolt! How is it not for kids?

The leader of this coalition of kid-haters is a retiree who recently moved here and brought his me-first California politics with him.

The current fight is over what the school board has deemed the best site for the school. Located at the three-way intersection of Catalina Highway, Melpomene and Snyder, the site's topography and proximity to major streets could save as much as $3 million in construction costs.

Amazingly, the state is willing to pay for the construction of the school and the purchase of the land. That's not enough for the coalition of old fogies and land speculators. They claim the land is pristine desert, even though the previous owner used it for cattle grazing for 40 years. They shrug off the fact that District residents voted by an almost 2-1 margin to build the high school. (The me-first guy is quoted as saying, "It could be that people up on this end of the district didn't even bother to vote ..." Is that a valid argument?)

And finally, they point to something called the Mount Lemmon Gateway Overlay Zone that's part of Pima County's comprehensive plan and limits residential and commercial development in the area. However, school districts are exempt from the restrictions.

The fact is, after all the hoopla, the Amphi District and the builders did a wonderful job of respecting the desert surroundings when building Ironwood Ridge (Pygmy Owl) High School, and there is no doubt that an equally good job can be done in Tanque Verde.

I hope that all you people who are putting the kids last reap what you're sowing and all end up like the guy in the Harry Chapin song, "Cat's In The Cradle." And I also hope you realize that every year there isn't a high school in the Tanque Verde District means that more and more kids have to go to Sabino. And we don't even want to talk about the condition that place was left in by the Pima Storm troopers.

· Shakira. Her 10 minutes of fame are up. The only people who get 15 minutes are those who at least have something to offer. Underneath her clothes ... is a no-talent skank.

· Whoever designed the new on- and off-ramp interchange at Valencia and I-19. You guys went to college for that? I thought Rube Goldberg was dead. What, did he leave behind plans for a completely inscrutable road design?

The other night I had to go down to the Pascua Yaqui Village out west on Valencia. (No, not to the casino. I don't gamble, mostly because I understand mathematics. Well, I don't gamble money, but apparently, these days, I gamble every time I get behind the wheel.)

There is now an extra lane for people getting off southbound I-19 onto Valencia. That's actually a good idea, because traffic used to back up onto the freeway. Unfortunately, bad drivers (of which there are two main types) either (mis)use the lane to pass other vehicles on the right or they get into the exit lane when it first becomes available and then proceed to drive 35 mph for the next mile.

Oops, I'm sorry. Make that for the next 1600 meters, according to all the signs. What's that crap all about? We fought that battle back in the 1970s and the One-Worlders lost. Despite the recent setbacks, we're still the baddest cats in the jungle and we do things in feet, inches and miles.

So I get off and come up to a "Yield" sign. Why? Don't they realize that "Yield" signs are useless? A good driver is going to stop and then proceed when it's safe, while a bad driver is going to go right on through. You might as well make it a "Stop" sign, so we can at least make some money off the law-breaking bad drivers.

I actually had one idiot tell me that "Yield" means "Merge." To which I replied, "No, 'Merge' means 'merge.'"

On the way back, I had to try to decipher the many traffic signals. I'm in the left-most lane for the left turn onto northbound I-19. Realizing that there are two left-turn lanes, before I even look over, I bet myself that the person in the "My-life-is-pathetic-so-I'm-going-to-waste-gas-and-endanger-lives-by-getting-one-car-length-ahead" lane is driving a pickup truck. I win the bet, but it's not really gambling because I didn't wager any money with myself.

The on-ramp goes from two lanes down to one after about 100 feet. Needless to say, the guy almost killed me. I don't even want to think what it's like during times of heavy traffic.

· Stan Paz's political career. Oh, I'm sorry. It's already gone.

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