SIGN, SIGN: The proliferation of new street signs installed and often paid for by the City of Tucson has really gotten our juices flowing. If changing the name of Sixth Street to "Goal One Graduate Boulevard" lowers the dropout rate, well, we'll just eat our mortarboards. We'd recommend the Metropolitan Education Commission take a look at just how many kids don't have textbooks to take home at night for homework, along with the reduced number of photocopies teachers are allowed to make at their schools, and address that as a graduation goal.
We have our own road signs to add to the confusing fray, brought to you by the people who want to run this town, often straight into the ground as far as we can tell. For example, all of I-10 in Pima County should be renamed "Diamond Drive" for obvious reasons: Since legendary land speculator Don Diamond owns the rest of the county, let's put his name on the most visible scar here.
While we're on highway pavement, we suggest I-17 to Phoenix be immediately renamed "Week Without Scandal Boulevard." sponsored by Gov. J. Fife Deadbeat III. Leave the sign up until he's dethroned or his bankruptcy trial ends, whichever comes first.
Speaking of taxpayers getting their pensions sucked out from under them, how about changing Randolph Way to "Rockies Beat Taxpayer Way," courtesy of the City of Tucson. Change it in 15 years when their lease is up and the Colorado Rockies move to Florida. While we're on the city, we'd change Speedway to "Fossilway," in honor of the city's oldest fossil, George Miller. Have Molly McKasson install that and send the bill to George's new, larger office.
New and larger brings to mind poor, defeated Sixth Street, which has been gnawed at repeatedly by its unfriendly neighbor, the University of Arizona. New signs there should read "Condemnation Way" and we should force that uptight Manuel Pacheco to take his tie off for one day to install it.
Did someone say University? With Arizona International University in heavy recruitment for its non-renovated building on Rita Road, have its mostest provostest, Celestino Fernandez, hang up some "Screw U. Boulevard" signs to properly identify the turn-off. And of course we'd let TUSD administrator Brenda Even change the signs out in front of her offices on Tenth Street to "Queen Brenda Boulevard." Leave those up until November when Brenda will seek a cleaner crown elsewhere.
And finally, it just wouldn't be right not to have the Southern Arizona Homebuilders Association absorb a little bit of the impact of new signs by having them sponsor changing any and all of the signs in the northwest to "Scrape It Raw Boulevard." With sitting in traffic the mainstay of our future thanks to SAHBA members, who cares if nobody knows which street they're on?
SUCKING UP IN STYLE: SAHBA is probably particularly happy with the majority of the Pima County Board of Supervisors agreeing to get rid of the 5 percent charge for administrative costs added to developer impact fees last week. Of course, we weren't particularly surprised by Supervisor Paul Marsh's developer support. Wasn't that Paul and wife Barbara we saw swinging with homebuilders in the pages of this month's exciting issue of Southern Arizona Home Builder? He was in good company at the SAHBA Celebration of Excellence: Congressman Jim Kolbe and state Rep. Andy Nichols were also featured in the photo spread sucking up to the celebrants.
ADIOS, BOB: Big loss to the Flowing Wells School District, when super Superintendent Bob Hendricks stepped closer to the state by taking a position at the University of Arizona. Hendricks has been one of the few superintendents in recent memory to go on record saying that maybe the governor's policies concerning education are as back-assward as everyone in education thinks they are, on everything from open enrollment to dumping school districts. Let's hope Bob will continue to be outspoken and spread a little influence at the state level while gathering his state paycheck. Good luck squeezing through the morass, Bob.
OBEYING THE DON: It was little heralded in the daily press, but the Pima County Board of Supes, by a 3-2 vote, gave legendary land speculator Don Diamond and his family and associates another 25-year extension on their lease to the taxpayer-owned Old Tucson.
What makes this no-bid fix even more disgusting, besides the clear indicate that once more supervisors Mikey Boyd, Paul Marsh and Ed Moore are in Diamond's pocket, is the total lack of concern any of them showed for the destruction wrought by Diamond's failure to comply with even rudimentary fire safety rules at the facility under the old lease.
It should be clear the three GOP Diamond-stooge supervisors could care less for public property or historic value, or anything else besides brown-nosing a major contributor. Hey, good thing it's an election year.
PRIMARY POST-MORTEM: With all the crowing up in Phoenix, you'd think the Legislature had found a cure for cancer rather than simply wasted $2 million on last week's presidential primary. GOP leaders were positively giddy about the election--Gov. J. Fife Deadbeat III called it a great success, and Rep. Ernie Baird said it was bigger than the Super Bowl.
Reality check: The Arizona primary did nothing but put Steve Forbes back in the race for a few more weeks. Unless he wins the nomination--anybody think that's going to happen?--our primary has only muddied the GOP waters, which, admittedly, is pretty fun to watch.
But as much as we're enjoying watching the Republicans slug it out, we still think the primary is a lousy idea.
Did you see anyone besides Pat Buchanan seriously campaign here? Bob Dole spent about 36 hours here in the four months leading up to the primary. Lamar Alexander stopped here for a debate. And Forbes swung through a couple times.
Face it: The candidates were all were busy campaigning in New Hampshire and Iowa. The only way they could also campaign here was through appearances on the TV screen, which meant they had to buy air time, which only increases the cost of running for the White House, which in turn increases the influence of big money on the presidential race--not a trend we consider healthy for a political system already slick with riches.
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