The Range

Sabino Springs Back

After last summer's rains sent an avalanche of boulders tumbling from the Santa Catalina Mountains into Sabino Canyon, the place was a real mess. The Friends of Sabino Canyon group is raising money to repair trails and the road that allows a tram to take visitors up the canyon. The Friends, who hope to collect a half-million bucks by May 31, is off to a fast start with a promise by auto dealer Jim Click and developer Mel Zuckerman to contribute as much as $250,000 in matching funds. If you want to help out, call 749-1900 or visit

Earlier this month, U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl said the federal government will provide $1.3 million to help repair the tram road.

Ecologist Daniel Patterson gripes that the rebuilding project is moving along too quickly--as unlikely as it may be to hear that complaint about government. Patterson says the Forest Service should review all options before rebuilding the road for the tram.

"We're not trying to make this a big fight," says Patterson, who plans to meet with Forest Service officials this Friday, April 20, to discuss the rebuilding plans. "We're in favor of making sure there's a fair and transparent process and that all the alternatives are considered before there's more blasting, bulldozing and road construction up Sabino Canyon. There are endangered species up there. We need to treat Sabino Canyon with care and not just rush because some big politician comes to town with a big check."

Invasion of Privacy

Sorry, Pima County residents! If you live outside of Maricopa County, you're not among the people whose Social Security number will be redacted when your documents are posted on the Internet, under the terms of a bill nearing passage at the Arizona Legislature. The bill requires the Maricopa County recorder to block Social Security numbers on loan documents, promissory notes and other paperwork that has been filed with the county and posted on the Web.

Why not residents outside of Maricopa County? Because it would cost too much. Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez, who says she'll start redacting the numbers on documents she posts in the future when she finds a new vendor with the right software, estimates it would cost more than $2 million to go through the documents that have been posted online since 1987.

Rodriguez tells The Range that residents probably don't have too much to worry about, because would-be identity thieves can't get the info for free. Instead, they have to pony up $100 for a six-month subscription in order to check out the documents. By requiring subscriptions, county staff can keep track of who is poking around the files.

Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell is using a filing surcharge to take care of the costs of redacting the Social Security numbers on documents, but Rodriguez says she has an opinion from the Pima County Attorney's Office that she can't use the same fee for that sort of work down here. That sounds pretty screwy to us.

Rodriguez adds that she's also planning on redacting Social Security numbers on documents filed before 1987 once she finally gets around to transferring them into electronic format.

Drawn and Quartered

Vote for No. 2! The Range is openly campaigning for the second of five possible designs for the Arizona quarter, which features both the Grand Canyon and an iconic saguaro. That's way better than the one with those Lewis and Clark clowns. Cast your ballot at Gov. Janet Napolitano's , Web page.

Play Ball!

The Tucson Sidewinders, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, drew more than 12,000 fans for the home opener of the 2007 season, mostly because pitcher Randy Johnson took the mound.

Unfortunately, though we were root, root, rooting for the home team, it was a shame when the Sidewinders lost to the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, 6-5.

Johnson, who is returning to Arizona after two seasons with the New York Yankees, gave up eight hits and two earned runs. As a Yankees fan, The Range is ecstatic to see the Big Unit back in Arizona.

The Sidewinders wrap up a four-game series against the Salt Lake Bees on Thursday, April 19, and Friday, April 20. They're back in town next Thursday, April 26, to start an eight-game home stand. And, despite rumors last year to the contrary, Thirsty Thursday, with $1 beers and soft drinks, is back this season. Tickets and more info: 434-1021.