I was trying to think of something to write about in this space that is unrelated to last year's shooting, considering that so much of the copy in this week's issue is already focused on Jan. 8, but it seems a little strange to talk about, say, an amusing app instead of the anniversary of one of the biggest news events in Tucson history.
It had been a while since I'd looked back on that first shootings-related post on The Range from Jan. 8, 2011, which we updated with new information as we received it, and today, it's a surreal experience to read our coverage of what took place over that long, long day. That experience affected how I've done my job every day since—the Davis-Monthan non-shooting fiasco that turned out to be a non-event, in particular—and I wonder what else I should have learned over the last 365 days.
While this might not be the most-optimistic take on those events, here goes: The trail of mental-illness-induced strangeness that Jared Loughner left on the Internet has led me to try to be more perceptive of others in my social circles who might be going through their own troubles (which are hopefully far-less severe). In a way, in the social-media age, we know so much more about the people we're connected to—even if those connections are generally weaker.
Who knows if anyone could have stepped in to really help Loughner? Meanwhile, at least we've learned something since the shootings about the seriousness of mental illness.
The week on The Range
We noted that Alexandre Sugiyama—who, like Mark Stegeman, is part of the University of Arizona Department of Economics—was appointed to fill Judy Burns' seat on the Tucson Unified School District board; shared the news that The Arizona Republic gave Gabrielle Giffords its "Arizonan of the Year" award; compiled a (partial) list of what Ron Paul finds unconstitutional; questioned the timing of the latest ethnic-studies ruling; realized that nearly every Republican presidential candidate likes Superman; wondered why the Rio Nuevo board spends so much time in executive session; thought about anonymity on the Internet; and hit the campaign trail in Iowa, camera in hand.
We looked forward to the new patio at Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails; welcomed Jalopy's Grillville to the Tucson brewery scene; cooked some exploding churros; and looked forward to the braciole at Gusto Osteria on the eastside.
We paid tribute to sword-fighting genius Bob Anderson; made plans to see Citizen Kane; discussed goth superheroes; looked back on the year in pop culture with Chris Patyk, formerly of The Mountain's morning show; gazed upward while college students safely fell from the sky in Eloy; cheered on a local racing dachshund; watched a music video about luggage; enjoyed the last track in our month of songs by local instrumental band Sleep Driver; rated things around the office with the formerly fake iPhone app Jotly; grimaced over a Michael Anthony-less Van Halen reunion; admired a retiree who is bicycling around the world; listened to some Croatian dance-pop; tried to catch up on the year in television; and finally noticed the feminist subtext beneath all those Nickelback songs.
Comment of the week
"Great article. Thanks for looking at this from the elephants' perspective. Animals don't live in zoos; they die in zoos. However you spin it, it's captivity."
Best of WWW
Josh Morgan was honored in October with a second-place award in the Best Multimedia Storytelling category of the Arizona Newspapers Association's annual contest for his photo essay that was featured on The Range on Feb. 7, 2011, "Last Days of the UMC Memorial." Morgan did a great job of capturing the expression of grief, memories and hope that Tucsonans felt, all of which found a focal point for expression on the University Medical Center lawn. We'll again be featuring the photo essay on the site, along with more pictures, videos and other Jan. 8-related content. We'll also cover some of the events marking the first anniversary.