Sob Stories

One of the most common complaints I get is that the Weekly, newspapers and the media in general are all too negative. We don't cover good, happy news enough, they claim. We're depressing.

As regular readers of this space know, these complaints irk me, because they're wrong. More than half of the content of this paper is usually coverage of culture and events, and by its very nature, that coverage is good, happy and positive.

That's the case this week, too. But to be honest, looking at the front part of this issue ... for this one week, I have to side with the whiners: This issue, at least the Currents section, is depressing. But it's not our fault. It's our job to cover local government and politics.

First off, there's The Skinny, which leads off with two pieces of annoyingly sad news. First, the Tucson City Council has voted, 6-1, to keep the Reid Park Zoo's elephants in town. This means that we, as taxpayers, will be forking out at least $6.25 million--probably more--so we can keep these elephants in a still-too-small enclosure where they'll possibly suffer.

Second, we, as taxpayers, are going to be paying for the fact that Councilman José Ibarra has a big mouth, to the tune of $160,000, in order to settle a defamation claim. If it were up to me, Jose Ibarra would have a choice: He could either commit to repaying the city that money, or he could resign. Neither will happen, but a guy can dream, can't he?

Then there are the Currents stories, which cover, respectively: alleged academic fraud, alleged police misconduct and for-certain sexism and racism, alleged money-wasting by the Tucson Unified School District and alleged wrongdoing in prison industries.

So, consider yourself warned. But remember: There's the whole, happy back part of the paper to enjoy, too.