Chris Limberis' "Requiem for a Heavyweight" [November 1], about Gary Triano, was typical of his work over the years. By not telling all of the truth about the attempted purchase of the Empire-Cienega Ranch in 1987 by Pima County, the public is still not allowed to know what type of people were in Pima County government at that time and what really happened.
The Board of Supervisors agreed to the $35 million purchase. A majority of the board had agreed to a financing method used by the Salt River Project so that no Pima County taxpayer money would be needed. The day the purchase was approved, a majority of the supervisors reneged on the promise and instead set up a special taxing district to buy the property by increased flood control tax levies. I could not support an increase in property taxes when the purchase could be made at no cost to Pima county taxpayers.
Arizona law provides that a special taxing district cannot be set up if it includes any mining claims. We contacted Bob Cattany, an attorney and mining engineer. His partner, Lynn Hansen, provided his field crew and staked a number of mining claims on the property. We waited until the day before the new district bonds were to be sold and then notified all the bond attorneys and brokers that the district had not been set up properly--thus no bonds could be sold and Pima County could not purchase the ranch. Bob and Lynn helped keep their own taxes down and helped all Pima County taxpayers, as well.
Since, in my opinion, Pima County couldn't be trusted at that time to protect taxpayers, we contacted the correct parties and helped convince the federal government to buy the property to preserve it at no direct cost to Pima County taxpayers.
Reporters like Limberis never tell all of the truth, particularly if their political friends and allies need to be protected. Contrary to Limberis' report, the federal government never competed with Pima County for the purchase of the ranch. If he is wrong on this part of his article, is it possible that he is equally inaccurate on other issues?
Chris Limberis replies: That's why we all miss Big Ed and why, truthfully, Pima County government deserves him. Too bad his career was cut short after three terms.
Moore is correct that he eventually opposed the county's purchase of Empire-Cienega using flood control taxes. That opposition took a long time to develop in 1987, months after he joined his supposed nemesis, Democrat David Yetman, in approving the county takeover of the ranches on the same day supervisors voted without dissent to buy the then-Great American Tower, 32 N. Stone Ave.
Moore's opposition to Empire-Cienega also did not develop until well after then-Assessor Arnold Jeffers, a Republican, warned about uncontrollable taxes--flood taxes are on the secondary levy and thus don't provide homeowners with any tax protection.
As to the use of the mining claims to thwart the county purchase, this may be the case. No one but Moore and his friends knew. That was one in an endless line of issues that Moore said he had "private attorneys" and "my guys" working on. "More will come out later," Moore would say. In this case, it has taken 14 years for "later" to arrive.
Let's hope Big Ed won't take that long to tell what he knows about Triano.
This is in response to Jim Nintzel's "Road Show" [October 25]. I am a new resident of Tucson, as of October 20. I'm from San Diego, where they have an excellent bus/trolley system. The trolley has been efficiently operating for 20-plus years in pretty much perfect harmony with bus connections.
I am disabled; I no longer drive. I've got to get used to the buses out here, and it's scary. I am going to vote for a light-rail project, once I'm legally able to.
One member (or more) of that 14-member Citizens Transportation Committee should take a short trip to San Diego to check out the trolley/bus lines. I miss that part of San Diego--but not the high rent.
By the way, why are there no route numbers on bus stop signs here?
Could you tell us "culture vultures" why there was no follow-up review of Arizona Theatre Company's Ghosts as translated by Lanford Wilson? Are ATC and Ibsen too establishment and commercial for your "alternative" paper?
I was fascinated by the script's depth and humor when I saw it. But your paper suddenly seemed to deny Ghosts' existence in Tucson. Why?
Editor's note: The Tucson Weekly published a preview of the production on October 18. Because we have such limited space for arts coverage, a show that is previewed in our pages generally doesn't get reviewed as well, so we can pay attention to a greater variety of arts groups. Aside from our listings, we must entirely pass over many productions and concerts in Tucson; ATC is fortunate to receive some sort of coverage for each of its shows, even though that coverage may not always include a review.