December 7 - December 13, 1995

The Skinny

DIRTY MINDS: The folks who coordinate art exhibitions at Pima Community College recently yanked a picture by Tucson artist Syd Clayton-Seeber entitled "Hidden Pleasure" featured in a recent show at the school's East Campus Career Center. The offending art work is composed of a split outer canvas revealing an inner canvas with tissue roses attached to it.

Is that just so naughty, or what?

In fact, just thinking about it makes us sooo hot and wet...Of course we're writing this in the bathtub. Ooops! Just caught a forbidden glimpse of our "no-no" parts. Now God will surely strike us dead.

Before we make matters worse we'd better hop out and towel off--taking care, of course, to make sure our sturdy rubber gloves never actually touch any part of our sordid nether regions. Why, even thinking about them, however briefly, makes us feel all dirty and worthless.

Hmmm, better hop back in the old tub and get really, really clean this time.

Bathing in total darkness helps a lot, and...Hey! What's that? Oooooh, it feels so, um, hole-like. All tight and round. Dare we poke in a finger or two? Just for a moment--gotta keep the old equipment clean...

Ouch! Damn it, our fingers are caught in the drain, and now we're stuck here in total darkness. If we could just yank our hand out of this rubber glove, but it's hopelessly jammed way down in there.

You know, a little art is truly a dangerous thing.

STILL ONLY 35 CENTS: We were considering limiting our critiques of the local dailies to front-page errors only, and damned if the Tucson Citizen didn't come through last Friday in the Page One banner headline that read, "$200 MILLION SOUGHT FOR PARKS." It was a story about the proposed county bond election set for next May, and in the second graph it told us that of the $400 million in requests that had been given to the bond committee, $47 million was for parks. The story further quoted Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry saying the final bond package would be trimmed to about $200 million.

So who's the bozo headline writer and the bigger bozo editor who let this one go by? Inquiring minds want to know.

Maybe if Citizen Publisher Don Hatfield spent a little less time using his pathetic paper as a vehicle to pimp for a new baseball stadium for the Sports Development Corporation he serves with and a little more time checking his own front page, he'd be a tad more credible.

The Citizen is owned by gigantically humongous media monster Gannett, which this past week announced it was paying a billion bucks for some bigtime TV operation that owns broadcast stations and produces sleazy daytime Talk Shows. Good forbid they spend some of that billion on improving their local newspapers.

BENDING OVER FOR Baseball: And speaking of subsidizing rich baseball team owners, seems that $25 million figure being thrown around by welfare-for-the-rich advocates doesn't include another small item--the $9 million more needed for flood control measures around the proposed site. That makes it a $34 million hand-out, folks--the latter part to be picked up by all of us through higher property taxes on something called the secondary levy.

State law puts limits on primary property taxes, but allows other gimmicks, which is why it's so damn hard to read a tax bill. Flood control measures are paid for via an additional taxing authority, which still consists of the five members of the Pima County Board of Supervisors.

How do we know this? Because at a recent Board of Supes meeting, Supervisor Raul Grijalva pushed the GOP majority, who want the stadium built, into answering the question about where the flood money would come from. Supervisor Special Ed Moore conceded he'd support higher property taxes to take care of the stadium needs. Smooth election move, Ed.

And while we're on the subject of the stadium, loyal readers of that lovable sports dude Tom Danehy, who appears regularly in this rag, will note he's all for the big project, arguing it'll be great for all the local teams who could use the stadium when the pros aren't there. Hey, Tommy boy, wouldn't all those millions be better spent on neighborhood parks and playing fields for us locals?

ROAD CONSTRUCTION, YOUR ASS: All that development on the far northwest beat is bringing residents more than higher crime,

crowded schools and heavy traffic. The ability of residents to get anywhere is further complicated by the incessant narrowing or blocking of roads by groups hiding behind signs that say "Road


Only that's bullshit. There isn't any road construction. There are a whole batch of projects designed to supply new subdivisions with basic needs like gas and water.

And since most of these projects are done by private contractors working on a variety of items, there's no co-ordination, so they can rip up the same road three or four times, or they can do it simultaneously, forcing slowdowns on all the major arteries on the same day.

In the meantime, The Arizona Daily Star's ace northwest beat reporter fell for the cover story by telling us about all the problems on that end of town, including a nice little map in explaining plans to make Thornydale a four-lane road. Missing from that story were the following questions: Where will the money come from, short of passing another massive bond election? And how will existing residents get anywhere during the period Thornydale is closed for actual road construction?

The Star fell for the rationale that all this traffic on Thornydale is due to the fact it recently became a better access road to Interstate 10. Gee, we thought it has double the usage because it now has twice as many people living along it.

One more time: Rampant growth is not designed to benefit the lives of those who live here.

COUNCILMAN CRAWFORD'S STRANGE ACTS: Newly appointed Ward Three Tucson City Councilman Michael Crawford has already scared the pants off some of his original supporters. Neighborhood types and those who backed Proposition 200 are particularly put out by Crawford's decision not to meet with them after several requests. Crawford has told them he's "just too busy," and that he receives "sufficient information" from the packets given him weekly by city staff.

Oh, oh. Sounds like another Janet Marcus coming along here. And here's the clincher. Crawford has hired as his aide Ted Abrams, son of developer Stan Abrams, a pal of legendary land speculator Don Diamond. And the elder Abrams was instrumental in getting Crawford his appointment.

Looks like Diamond might not be out of the game yet on getting the City Council to buy into annexing his massive Rocking K development.

SO WHAT IS THE SPIRIT OF THAT LAW, GUYS? Pima County has an ordinance prohibiting its employees from contributing to the campaigns of candidates for county supervisor. This was designed to keep the supes from beating on county employees for campaign funds. But that cuts two ways--considering this bunch, many county employees would probably like to contribute to their opponents.

The rule doesn't apply to aides to county supes running for other offices--specifically, Supervisor Mike Boyd's aide Ron St. John, who has picked up checks from both County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry and his deputy Martin Willett for St. John's race as a Republican for the state House in District 13.

So let's get this straight. Joe the county employee can't give any money to Mikey's opponent. But it's OK to give it to his aide?

What makes this particularly interesting is that St. John's letterhead looks like a cross between the Tucson 30 and the rest of the Cementhead lobby.

NO MORE SEARCHING THE BUSHES! Seems those of you who're computer savvy (all you upper-income, well-educated Anglo folks the advertisers love so much) will soon be able to cancel your $120-a-year subscriptions to The Arizona Daily Star.

Even for the professional class that's a lot to pay for a newspaper it takes all of five minutes to read in the mornings--okay, 20 minutes on Sundays, by the time you wade through all those colorful advertising supplements. You do wade through them like good little consumers, don't you?

Anyway, what's happening is the Star's electronic alter ego, StarNet, will be offering free daily news reports come January. Of course, some of the digital service's features will remain hidden behind doors that require those annoying user names and double-secret passwords to enter, but, hey, we're not complaining.

In fact, we plan on dropping our subscription real soon and going totally digital--that way we'll be able to program our computers to pick and choose the news that's really useful each day, and ignore all the pointless crap the Star is forced to print to fill the space between its many ads.

StarNet is performing a wonderful service right now by providing connections to the Internet--at about the cost of a subscription to the newspaper. It's a great buy in these technologically backward times, and we only hope that when the cable TV and phone companies start offering ultra-fast Internet connections at rock-bottom rates in the near future, StarNet and the Star will find some worthwhile way to continue sucking money out of our community.

MINE GAMES: Here we go again--Asarco Inc. is picking up 347 publicly owned acres in Coronado National Forest for a whopping $1,745. The land, south of Tucson, has somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 billion in minerals.

Wow--talk about your profit margins!

And why? Because the Mining Law of 1872--yes, 1872, six score and four years ago--allows mining companies to patent federal land for as little as $2.50 an acre.

Disgusted? So is Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, who has repeatedly tried to reform the 19th-century law to bring it in line with the approaching 21st century. When he signed over the land to Asarco, Babbitt pulled out a gigantic Christmas-wrapped box marked $2.9 billion and slammed the anachronistic mining law.

Efforts to reform the law have been stymied by Congress. Do you suppose that has anything to do those PAC donations the mining industry continues to feed our representatives?

What the hell--it's just another taxpayer rip-off.

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December 7 - December 13, 1995

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