THE MADNESS OF KING ED: At the close of a recent Pima County Supervisor's meeting, as is his habit, Big Ed Moore took the mike and, in one bizarre and grandiose lunge at just about everybody, called his colleagues "corrupt" and "crooked," said county contracts are "fixed," called a deputy county attorney an "idiot," The Arizona Daily Star's county reporter a "liar," and told the winner of a Pima County contract, "I'll be on your ass for two years, buster."
At the same meeting, Moore said the health threat posed by Davis-Monthan Air Force Base may be 10 times greater than trichloroethylene (TCE) contamination currently known to be affecting Tucson's groundwater. He demanded the Air Force provide records of all TCE purchases--and was supported by his colleagues when he demanded County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry seek the information.
"Facts about the potential contamination were being concealed by community leaders and the media," Moore was quoted in The Star as saying. And tests of Davis-Monthan wells are "rigged," he added.
The Star gave the tirade four column inches and the TCE item another six. It slapped him ever so gently on the buttocks in a subsequent editorial.
First, there was enough in those 10 inches to alert a passing Martian to the fact that Pima County has a complete lunatic on its Board of Supervisors. Precisely when Moore went nuts is irrelevant, but it's been a while.
In most other self-respecting communities, the media, community leaders and the colleagues of a public fruitcake like Moore would have gotten together and laughed his loony ass out of office by now. But Tucson's power elite are too craven--in fact, true community leaders don't really exist, and the media is so damn shallow they continue to cover Moore's wildest claims and exhortations with a straight face. Kinda like the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day. We get a day of Ed. And then we get the next day of Ed, and it's like the first day never happened.
Lack of institutional memory? The major media can't remember last week. Which is how it will always be when you use shallow, formula coverage that says whatever any government person says must be taken seriously regardless of how obviously bullshit it is. Which is why a pol as wacko as Moore just keeps going and going.
CATALINA CATASTASIS: We've got injuries to report and we're not surprised, given the incredible lack of response on the part of the administration at Catalina High School, namely Principal Linda Schloss. Skinny tipsters say the son of a Catalina Safety Committee member was beaten and robbed by three other students on Friday, March 3. He sat in the office for three hours, and when his mother was finally contacted, she asked for a report to be filed, but Student Resource Officer Paul Chapperon reportedly told her he would file it Monday. Guess he had a busy day.
The angry parent then called the Tucson Police Department, which gave her a case number right away and recommended taking the student to be checked out. A trip to the hospital confirmed a concussion. This involved mother is so mad she's pulled her son from the school and is contemplating legal action.
Another boy was beaten earlier in the day by a small bat he brought to school following an altercation the day before. Friday saw four guys chase down the bat kid, resulting in a full-blown fight, with the kid having his bat used against him by the four bigger boys, resulting in injuries never checked out by the school nurse. Two physical education teachers broke up the fight, one of them getting hit in the head at some point. No fewer than three teachers have identified the kids involved in the fight, but there is no word yet on suspensions.
Speaking of the safety committee, Schloss told the group she never got their hand-delivered request of February 3 demanding that she address concerns regarding students wandering the halls and open lunch areas, among other things. She was hand-delivered a new copy on February 24, and told a PTA gathering on March 1 she had not had time to respond. No rush Linda, the school year will be over in two months and you can think about it over the long, hot summer vacation.
And from the hot file: It just wouldn't be a week at Catalina unless the home fires were burning; two fires last week apparently herald the beginning of March Madness at the violence-plagued school.
Is this the kind of crap we pay school taxes for?
A GIANT SUCKING SOUND CONTINUES AT THE PUBLIC TIT: Will this never end? Si Schorr of the law firm of Lewis and Roca, submitted his February 23 billing to Pima County for the Alan Lang hearings--another $1,590.47. This is the same guy who claims on behalf of the Town of Marana that the lawyers who beat him in the referendum case charged too much.
And for the record, Schorr is also the attorney for Vistoso Partners, the guys in Oro Valley torturing the beauty of Honey Bee Canyon into big bucks.
PERHAPS HE'S ATTRACTED TO ITS HISTORY AS A PENAL COLONY: Most recent rumor on the future of pit bull Pima County Attorney Steve Neely is that he and his spouse already have exit visas for New Zealand that expire at the end of the year. We're told these are non-renewable visas. If this rumor is true, Neely may face certain options by December 31:
1. Resign and head out without maximizing pension benefits.
2. Max out his pension by staying into 1996 and re-applying for new visas.
3. Head out, not resign the office, continue to accrue pension benefits while waiting for the Board of Supervisors to declare the office vacant (which would take at least 90 days).
One probable Democratic candidate to replace Neely is Deputy County Attorney Barbara LeWall. That makes two Neely staffers up for the top job--David White, a newly converted Republican, is already sniffing around for the appointment should Neely leave early. And speaking of that...
BUREAUCRATS COVER THEIR BIG, BULBOUS BUTTS: The Pima County Attorney's office, with the collaboration of the Yuma County Attorney's office, ruled that Pima County Board Clerk Jane Williams didn't violate the nepotism law when her underling, County Elections Director Delores Johnston, hired Williams' husband as an elections specialist last November--for three times the normal pork!
First, note that they bring in another county to make it look good on these political questions, but the other county almost always gives them the courtesy of going along with their call. No shit--sometime the prosecutors in that county may need a favor. Who is this process supposed to impress--besides the airheads at the major media who are sooooo easy to hustle?
Second, here's the logic they used to get Williams off the hook. They pretend she didn't know her husband was working for her employee, and because there's no evidence Williams ever asked Johnston to hire him, Williams isn't guilty .
By that logic, if we walk into a convenience market with a 12-gauge shotgun, don't say a word, and the clerk empties the cash register and hands us the money, we can not only beat the rap but keep the bread. Hey, we were just stopping for a paper and he gave us too much change.
This is one more example of moral relativism which allows public crooks to excuse their improper acts. Never mind that such a con job would get the average citizen hung--and that's the best face we can put on this. Here's the possible worst face:
The guy who gave the opinion is the same David White who's angling to be appointed County Attorney when and if Neely splits. The same board majority White needs for the appointment happens to be the same board majority that appointed and defends Williams.
CADDYSHACK CONFIDENTIAL: Sure we're pickin' on 'em up in Oro Valley. Here's one more example of why we should be:
The current recall election, scheduled for March 28, was primarily instigated by the folks in the northern portion of the town, which is known as Sun City Vistoso. These folks were angered at the attempt by the mayor and council to dump the Golder Ranch Fire District and hand over the town's entire fire operations to Rural Metro.
For normal county elections--you know, the regular ones where they lose most of the votes--Oro Valley has more than one polling place. But for the March 28 recall, to "save money," there will be but one place to vote.
And guess which side of town it'll be on? And guess who'll have to drive an extra five or six miles to vote? Gee, pure coincidence?
And they wonder why we call them Caddyshack and label their officials contemptible.
DAMN IT, MEN! GARBAGE WORTH FIGHTING FOR IS GARBAGE WORTH DYING FOR: Sign at the City of Tucson's Harrison Road landfill:
Pursuant to ARS 13-3102, Weapons may not be carried on your person within the landfill facility. Check all weapons at the scalehouse or secure them in your vehicle. Violators are subject to criminal sanctions.
This sign was posted for the following reason (pick at least one):
l. Warring gangs of scavengers have been fighting it out over choice slops.
2. Extremist animal-rights groups want to protect the rats.
3. Toady bureaucrats want to suck up to anti-gun city council members with another piece of totally useless symbolism.
Once again, city bureaucrats make policy while council members pretend they're relevant.
REVISIONIST HISTORY: The Skinny erred in a recent item discussing the abortive election run for constable by Todd Archer in the Green Valley area. We said the GV justice precinct was number six. It's actually JP District Seven. The constable for JP Six--the northern side of Pima County--is Democrat Steve Sherrick, to whom we apologize for the error.
MENACELESS DENNIS AND THE FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANK: We can finally put a rumor to rest--that Arizona's former U.S. senator, Dennis DeConcini cut a deal with Bill Clinton to supply the Prez with the vote he needed to pass that budget back in '93 in exchange for a federal judgeship or an ambassadorship someplace neat. Instead, DeConcini will be appointed to the Board of the Federal Home Loan Bank, a position of considerable merit but way below ambassador or judge in both clout and pay scale.
Which means either there never was a deal and Dennis voted that way because he would've anyway, or Clinton reneged because he figures he might have trouble with the confirmation from a new senate, or Dennis didn't get a high enough price.
Pick one. In the meantime, we hope there aren't any future Charlie Keatings oinking around DeConcini's new institution.
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