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Let's Talk Startups

Now that Republican Rick Grinnell has made the November mayoral ballot, we have something resembling a real contest on our hands. Beyond the obvious benefit of there being more to write about between now and then, perhaps we'll actually have a conversation about the future of Tucson and technology.

Considering the general state of the economy, here and nationwide, Grinnell and Jonathan Rothschild (and perhaps Mary DeCamp) will talk quite a bit about jobs—and that's definitely helpful, but just as important is the question of what types of jobs Tucson needs to draw. As it stands now, it's front-page news when a new call center opens. While any sort of work is appreciated, there are more- lucrative industries out there.

It would be great to have Tucson in the race for businesses that are looking to expand or move—and we also need to find a way to cultivate and create brand-new companies, especially in the online and tech fields.

There are some tech startups here in Tucson, but it seems like we're badly lagging behind cities like Austin and Portland, Ore. (and even Phoenix, sadly) in providing an atmosphere that will create the next Facebook, or maybe even the next Angry Birds. Gangplank Tucson (tucson.gangplankhq.com), sponsored by Bookmans, is a great start, as the project is providing a space and collaborative energy—but what will our mayoral candidates propose that we do to make Tucson the sort of place where technology thrives?

I look forward to the conversation.


The week on The Range

We brought you election results from last week's city primary; were skeptical of the theory that President Barack Obama was trying to rig the 2012 election; watched too much Fox News; and celebrated talk-show host John C. Scott's return to local radio.

We built up an appetite for the new food menu at Cartel Coffee Lab; celebrated the opening of Fourth Avenue's Bacon and Craeggs; were happy to hear that we could bring our own beer to the UA-area Fat Greek; visited the Taqueria El Rapido food truck; and ate breakfast at the Boondocks Lounge.

We urged you to join our new online football pool; suggested you check out Agnes of God at Arid Rose Theater; brought you artwork from the Dia de Los Muertos exhibit at Tohono Chul Park; shared photos from the Explosions in the Sky show at the Rialto Theatre; shared the latest in Tucson bicycling news; told you to go see Them Jeans at Hotel Congress; and urged you to adopt a dog at the Humane Society.

We enjoyed another video of cats and dogs being adorable; wondered why a weatherman would be so afraid of spiders; saluted the UCLA student who decided to spend his spring break fighting with the Libyan rebels; worried about whether our doctor was washing his hands enough; listened to Ryan Adams; were mesmerized by the story of a group of Colombian schoolchildren who were hypnotized by a mischievous warlock; looked forward to the new season of Community; ordered you, once again, to watch Louie; fretted over Lindsay Lohan's decision to have Billy Joel lyrics tattooed on her ribcage; and were horrified by a sweaty Kim Kardashian.


Comment of the week

"YAY BOOZE"

TucsonWeekly.com commenter Debbie Hadley (and new TW intern) recaps the essential takeaway from Adam Borowitz's reporting on a local coffee house's expansion into new product lines ("Cartel Coffee Lab to Start Serving Food and Booze," The Range, Sept. 2).


Best of WWW

There was plenty of buzz when the Tucson Weekly announced that we were looking for a medical-marijuana critic, with tons of media requests coming in, and a lot of online chatter about the job opening.

This week's issue marks the first appearance of our medical-marijuana column, by J.M. Smith. You'll be able to read his take on the battle over the industry in this state, the businesses that have popped up since the ballot measure passed, and whatever else comes up. For extra green content, Smith will also be providing posts to our daily dispatch, The Range.

This means we'll have regular features on The Range that cover TV, comic books, bicycling, food trucks, marijuana and—coming soon—gardening, as well as our "normal" day-to-day content.

Any suggestions on what to cover next? Email us.

More by Dan Gibson

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