TPD'S LITTLE DICK: If you're unlucky enough to have some sleazebag break into your house, you better hope they steal your CDs. Judging from the recent experience of one of our readers, your best hope of catching the perp is to fax a list of the stolen merchandise to Zia Records and Bookman's, where they're a little more responsive to apprehending thieves than is the Tucson Police Department.
Get this: A downtown resident's duplex gets broken into on Friday of Thanksgiving weekend, when he's out of town. A neighbor calls the police after hearing the commotion of two individuals prying open a window. Beat cops arrive on the scene, note the disturbance, but, apparently, do not treat the incident as a break-in because the owner is not present (i.e., they don't dust for prints or report the disturbance as such). Gee, forced entry and nobody's home. We wouldn't want them to act too prematurely on our behalf.
The owner returns on Sunday, finds at least $4,000 worth of property in absentia, and calls the pager number left by the responding officer. Unfortunately, the cop's no longer interested in responding. Our victim makes a trip to the station, where the friendly desk cop gives him some paperwork to send in for the file, and apologizes that no detective has been assigned to his case. Well, that's understandable. The incident happened over a holiday weekend.
But the victim, anxious to help himself in these fraternal days of "community policing," makes a detailed list of the stolen merchandise and faxes it to local second-hand music stores and bike shops. Sure enough, a guy showed up at Zia on the day of the break-in with a stack of the stolen goods. First thing Monday morning, the manager at Zia identifies the pawn slip with the guy's name, address and phone number, and immediately calls the victim with the info. Said victim, in high spirits at justice actually being served against all probability, immediately calls the police. Then the most unbelievable thing happens: A week goes by. Nobody investigates. Nobody goes down to Zia to confiscate the stolen goods so the owner can redeem them.
A detective, more than a week after the incident is reported, is assigned to the case. And although he tracks down the accomplice, if not the actual thief, somewhere in South Tucson, questions him, and tells the victim he's "99-percent certain the guy is guilty," he tells the victim all they can do is "wait for more (stolen) stuff to surface." Yeah, like that's gonna happen now that a cop has showed up on the guy's doorstep.
Excuse us, the non-crime experts, for asking: Doesn't the phrase "probable cause" mean anything? A guy cops to fencing a bunch of stolen merchandise, and our boys in blue can't take the initiative to search his house? They'll search your car for a minor traffic infraction, consider opening the door your consent to enter your home if the music's too loud after 10 p.m. But this guy's civil rights need to be protected?
Here's the kicker: The dick tells the victim, "If only we could match the fingerprints, this'd be a cut-and-dry case." Yeah, if only.
SOLAR PILLAGE CONTINUES: Remember Civano, that 21st-century solar village development on the southeastern side of the city that Tucson taxpayers have been subsidizing in various ways? Well, guess what? The city recently began the work of condemning easements for utilities.
But there's something funny going on--the area already has utility lines for stuff like gas, electricity and water. So what's left?
Try sewers, which the city isn't normally in the business of providing. That's usually Pima County's job.
Just coincidentally, extending sewer lines to Civano would also mean moving them a lot closer to legendary land speculator Don Diamond's proposed bazillion-dollar Rocking K Development.
Back when Rocking K was rezoned, Diamond had to agree to provide the infrastructure--including sewer lines--to his development. So it appears that the Civano Solar Village won't be the only beneficiary of this sewer subterfuge.
A quick count of local public officials reveals Big D is in better shape with a majority of the all-Democratic Tucson City Council than he will be with the new Demo majority on the Pima Board of Supervisors. We suspect the sewer line acquisition is just one of the many moves that will precede the ultimate annexation of Rocking K by the city when Diamond wants it--probably just after the 1997 city election.
LEARNING CURVES: A few weeks ago, The Arizona Daily Star reported the Vail School District was so overcrowded that administrators were being forced to keep their schools open year-round.
"The only reason school districts go to this option is to accommodate growth," Vail School Board President Jill McCain told Star reporter Monica Mendoza. "Truly there is a sense of, we wish we were not in this position."
See how an economy designed around building more houses for new people benefits existing residents? And the Vail folks got a double whammy when the Arizona Board of Regents cut the deal with IBM to take the computer giant's plant off the property tax rolls to create that brand-spanking New U located, just coincidentally, close to certain land interests, including legendary land speculator Don Diamond's megagoliath Rocking K project. This move has crippled the Vail School District by denying it a big bite of property tax revenue when it needed it the most.
So when parents have children taking vacations at different times, when the classrooms become even more overcrowded, when the quality of education decreases even further, just remember folks--all that growth is really good for us, OK?
GIVING TUCSON THE BIRD: The gargantuan "Redhawk" project the delighted yokels on the Marana "We'll-Eagerly-Bend-Over-So-You-Can-Diddle-Us" Town Council just passed 6 to 1, undoubtedly will be submitted to a referendum drive by a recently rejuvenated Alliance Marana.
And this time, they'll have the petitions drawn up on the right-sized paper.
The proposed 13,000-unit Redhawk development--which will contribute no end to urban sprawl as it displaces many real hawks--is the brain tumor of hubristic desert rapist George Mehl. With his brother David, he developed the pretentious La Paloma Resort, forever scarring the natural beauty of the Catalina foothills.
After David and his family were killed in the crash of a light plane David was piloting--that hubris is a bitch, man--we're told George helped fund a local conservative Christian tabloid in their honor. Or, as God would say, were He alive today: Go forth and multiply and subdue the earth--and be sure to buy housing, lots of housing. Okay?
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