"As long as this material remains on the riverbank, it poisons the river every day and threatens water supplies with a catastrophic failure," says worrywart Bill Hedden of the Grand Canyon Trust.
But, you ask, who cares about radioactivity? Well, that's not all we have to worry about. Over in Henderson, Nev., we've got the toxic chemical ammonium perchlorate dripping into the river from a former military facility, according to the Environmental Working Group. Tests by the group show that the chemical can now be found in lettuce irrigated by the Colorado at four times the safe dose for a glass of water, which has allowed the Bush Administration to classify ammonium perchlorate as a vegetable.
Finally, the group says that the river is being contaminated by overloaded septic systems, particularly in the Lake Havasu area, where homebuilders don't have to worry about any of those goddamn guv'mint regulations. And if we don't like it, we can just eat shit--literally, since the water comes our way from the CAP canal and gets recharged into our aquifer. Say, any chance we can go back to the idea of using the CAP on farmland and mines?
"There were so many reasons to get rid of it," said Britton Dornquast, president of the Campbell Avenue Business Partnership and owner of Hear's Music, 2508 N. Campbell Ave. "It was a pain in the ass for everyone involved."
City transportation officials predict the decision will increase congestion along Grant Road, especially with longer waits at traffic lights to accommodate drivers making left turns. Boy, now the voters will be sorry they rejected that light-rail system last November! Council members vowed to deal with the increased traffic by developing a better transportation plan by 2099.
In related transportation news, the Arizona Legislature passed a bill transforming the Pima Association of Governments into a beefed-up regional transportation authority with the power to ask voters once again to approve a half-cent sales tax for road and transit improvements.
"I'm totally stoked," said John Dougherty of the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, who helped steer the bill past the legislative loon squad. "The idea behind this bill is more important than what it accomplishes. This shows that Pima County and the city of Tucson can work together to solve problems on a regional level."
Well, maybe. Even Dougherty says getting the bill passed was the easy part; putting together a plan that voters will support promises to be a rougher road.
"The real work is going to be the dogfight over the money," says Dougherty.
"It is also clear that the public understands that mountain lions pose a limited risk to human beings and that they are an important part of our wild landscape," said Sandy Bahr, conservation outreach director for the Sierra Club's Grand Canyon Chapter. "Even in light of the fear-mongering associated with the Sabino Canyon mountain lions, most people agreed that these animals belong here and that the threats are minimal."