Writing, writing, writing...
Truly a woman of integrity, Kathryn's loss came unexpectedly. Not only Tucson but all of Southern Arizona is in tears.
Jefferson Carter (I think) was commenting on the futility of political poetry as a device for social change. Poets may have strong feelings, but generally, writing poems as part of one's faculty responsibilities or to secure a grant or attract devotees of the same or other gender -- what many if not most contemporary poets do -- are unlikely to effect revolutions. Though they may be coincident, it's likely more was going on societally than going on on the poet's page.
More public opinion requires a public with opinions -- and in Tucson, hopefully, not the old saws that have been bandied about for the last 10 or 20 or 40 years. What about our future? What about collective challenges and personal triumphs? What about cosmic revelations? Michael's right to want more, but the Weekly editor can only work with what's available. Perhaps a Weekly-run storefront news cafe might generate more grist for the mill. But even that would require a public, at least of news and coffee consumers. Are enough of us out there? One hopes!
A contrarian climate-change prognostication that's gaining credibility -- check out the dry-as-a-prune West Coast sometime! -- is that Southern AZ may soon be gaining desert-oasis status, a permanent solution to the challenge of scarce water.
As El Niño becomes a permanent fixture off San Diego, superheated Pacific Ocean water vapors are rising higher in the atmosphere each year, creating the near certainty of regular rainfalls here as rain clouds more frequently clear the San Diego mountains, eventually doing so all the time. Combined with the increasing frequency of tropical storms and even hurricanes in the Gulf of Baja California, this phenomenon may result in monsoons that really are monsoon and on the ground, rivers that really are rivers. (Phoenix will not be so lucky: it will only get hotter and hotter.)
Whether or not the entire scenario comes true, it is a known fact that radical changes in the weather induced by climate-change happen rapidly, in fairly recent history as quickly as in two to three years. Keep your life vests handy!
World View represents the first real opportunity in a long time to create a new industry and worthwhile jobs in Tucson, on a large scale. Those who oppose its stationing in our neighborhood are willing to blow off what could be the anchor for Tucson's first new, major economic development in memory.
That would send a clear signal to other entrepreneurs and large investors to stay away, condemning our region to yet more decades of underdevelopment, lack of opportunity, failure to attract talent, and poverty -- all of which would continue to favor Maricopa County's development and domination, which is the real point of this lawsuit.
It's easy to lambast public officials, easy as it is to shoot yourself in the foot, two self-destructive entertainments popular among our more-benighted residents. "Keep Tucson s****y," indeed.
As a former senior policy analyst for the California Legislature (a real full-time, professional legislature, not a part-time Republican windup toy), I have to say that the legalization initiative is really well done. It's comprehensive, it responds to widely held public opinion, is sensible (in that it is laid out in a way that people can make sense of it), and it's ambitious.
Ambitious because it must be, in anticipation of legislative meddling that has so far screwed up everything from school funding to publicly funded elections -- and which will certainly be applied by legislative shills for the tobacco and liquor lobbies, and certain churchy sects, to subvert the public will if the initiative passes. (Such meddling should worry Tom more, but in this case, he's willing to bend his values. Sad.)
Danehy should spend some time in the legislative realm as an analyst, to get a feel for the job, although by the looks of his predisposition, I doubt he would be hireable: one thing you need in the legislative arena is being able to dispassionately assess the veracity of claims being made for this or that bill or initiative. Tom is so invested in prohibition as a moral duty, on this issue at least, he's disqualified himself.
Sad to see kids as the pawns in these ideologically laden, political games. I attended school in a big-city, blue-state community (with more primary schools than all the schools and all grades in Tucson put together). My folks were active PTA, occasionally interceding when kids were held to unreal standards, but mostly helping out and praising public-school teachers.
Our public schools were run like magnet schools, each with a certain flair and "personality." And so far as i know, our ethnically diverse population (much more so than Tucson's) served students equally well; at least, a lot of us made it into college from all these many schools. We didn't piss and moan personalities or racism (which earlier had been a self-defeating issue) once it was fixed; as parents and kids, we simply aimed for the stars.
The lack of a future for most Tucsonans has been mentioned; for sure, it's an ambition killer. All the statistics in the world aren't going to solve the dampening of ardor for education sought after by our Arizona Legislature for most Arizona families and kids, and the general torpor induced by local lack of economic and cultural opportunities. Stop putting the responsibility off on others if you aren't helping to fix these systemic problems.
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