I'm not a desert person. My wife and I moved to Tucson in June of 1999 for a change of scenery and to be closer to her family. Being from the ultra-temperate Bay Area in No-Cal, I wasn't optimistic about my prospects for a speedy adaptation to a desert climate.
On our first day in town, we're driving down South Oracle Road surveying a row of less-than-savory-looking hotels (one of which was our first temporary home here in the Old Pueblo) when I heard some old Woody Guthrie Dust Bowl ballad from the Depression. We looked at each other in wonder and have rarely changed the dial since.
Well, those first two summers were killers. I still haven't gotten quite used to all the gun racks in the cabs of those pickup trucks or why some folks will pay a king's ransom for a motorcycle that was purposefully designed to be very loud. But I wouldn't trade my backyard view of the Catalinas, Casa Video, my Saturday bike rides or KXCI for anything.
What's my point? It's not very easy to live year-round in this town. But thanks to the aforementioned conditions a good bargain has been struck. In fact I may even be starting to love it here. Why pick on KXCI ("Radio Daze," August 16) when we all know full well that everything east of it on the dial is badly cloned corporate exhaust? So is almost the entire landscape of Bay Area radio, for that matter.
But wait! KXCI had a contentious board meeting! Management has utterly failed to please 100 percent of its volunteers, past and present! Hard decisions for the sake of continuity had to be made! I could see that qualifying as Tucson (section) material in the Star maybe, but a cover story in the "free-minded" Weekly? Please. Aren't you guys supposed to have relatively similar values, be allies against corporate globalization?
KXCI is far from perfect. Aside from the well documented trouble reaching the northwest side, its signal hits bumps in the road on nearly an hourly basis everywhere else. They can be quite pushy during those pledge drives. Gospel and bluegrass (definitely not two of my favorites) comprise nearly 10 hours of the weekend programming. I was not happy with the demise of the Tough Tulip show, either.
But I like that some of the DJs actually say, "I'm not even going to try and pronounce the name of that last song." I can call in a request and it will usually be played within 15 minutes. I've sat in as a co-host of Brainwaves just as a result of e-mails with Roger Greer, the show's intrepid captain. I regularly chat with another morning show host at my health club. And Tony "Ebenezer" Ford has taken my wife and me on tours of the studio during each of the open houses we've attended there.
One week it's herbs and now community radio? Will next week's feature discuss why we need to become more like Phoenix? What is it with you guys lately?
To the Editor,
In an era of indiscriminate corporate downsizing for profit maximization, I suppose it is not surprising that KXCI should come under the knife of yet another spineless executive wannabe seeking to make his fame and fortune by dicing up the careers of others.
But what really pissed me off was reading how Tony Ford treated Steve Hahn.
When the band I play with, Prepping Finger Salad, came to Steve with a request to plug a Solar Culture show in May, Steve not only graciously aired numerous mentions on The Ragged Edge but also played some of our stuff.
Free noise/jazz/skrokadelic, etc., is not everyone's cup of meat. Yet Steve understood this music and offered it up to anyone willing to open their ears. His support of fringe music and his found-sound intros are going to be sorely missed.
As for Greasy Tony: Screw someone over today, get screwed tomorrow. It's a vicious circle, baby.
But then again, judging by the photo of Tony in the Weekly, a bit of personal downsizing might do him some good.
You guys at the Weekly are always fond of telling your readers when you outdo the daily rags (which is, apparently, a regular event). Now I have found a new category in which you can claim superiority.
I was washing and waxing my van this morning and I dragged some papers out of the recycling to wash the windows. You probably know that newsprint works better than anything on windows. I was using some pages from what I believe was the Citizen, when I came upon some pages from an old Weekly. I noticed the difference right away. It was crisper, cleaner, less flaky, and just generally better--just as in other comparisons. You outshined the Star and Citizen, literally, once again.
I will use the Weekly exclusively when doing windows--after I read it, of course.
Tom Danehy's "Neotic License" (September 6) points out an interesting feature of American society: you have to in some way "deserve" health insurance. You deserve it by being wealthy and able to pay for it, or by getting married and getting on your spouse's plan, or even by being extremely poor, poor enough to qualify for state assistance. Otherwise, you can do without.
Clearly, simply being a human being living in this country is not enough to "qualify" you for access to health care. Danehy's "problem" of unmarried people getting on their partner's health plan wouldn't be a problem if this country provided health coverage to everyone, regardless of money, employment or marital status. Danehy's column lends implicit support that healthcare coverage should be reserved for those who meet the qualifications which is truly tragic.
Our current president seems to agree with him. Maybe someday anyone will be able to see a doctor regardless of their wallet or the ring on their finger.
Regarding "A Perfect World" (August 23): Agggghhhh! Susan Zakin's admiration for community planning is good-hearted, I'm sure, but probably misguided and/or misinformed. Although there are certainly perils of letting the frontier mentality guide development, I wonder if she's ever had to live with the consequences of such community planning?
My family and I are just now fleeing to Tucson from what I not-so-affectionately refer to as the "People's Republic of Santa Cruz, California." Growth and development is strictly controlled there, and the result is that my family and many others are leaving because of crazy housing costs. How does an average of $2000 per month rent for a three-bedroom house grab you? It didn't grab us--it spit us out. We are leaving because of greed and stupidity--greed on the part of property owners and stupidity on the part of the gummit to see past their ideology and actually solve the problem.
Sure, community planning isn't entirely to blame, there was the dot-commies, the university, and rich folks buying second homes. But there was also the NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard) and the ever-popular CAVEs (Citizens Against Virtually Everything) resisting any growth as if people mattered. Bottom line is, we can't afford to live there anymore, and had to leave our friends and jobs in this "planned" community.
The "good" examples Susie gave? San Clemente and Santa Barbara? Don't try to live in either place unless your family income is well over $100K. Santa Barbara is in the top 10 least-affordable place to live in America.
I think it was Winston Churchill who said, "If you're not a socialist in your 20's, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative in your 40's, you have no head." Heck, my degree was in Environmental Studies, I'm sensitive to growth issues and of course I don't want to see Tucson or any place turn into a sprawled wasteland. On the other hand, Susie's gushing over community planning in California sounds a little like admiration of economic development in China. Yeah, it's nice, but it comes at a high cost.
Speaking of which, the comment about divorcees and the Dalai Lama was remarkably ignorant, bigoted and unkind. Susie, perhaps you stop worrying about aesthetics and perhaps look at your own mind a bit. Maybe read something by His Holiness, it could help. In the meantime, if you so admire eco-fascist paradises on the coast, go there! Take lots of money to go with your disdain for the bourgeois. But don't start honking about what Tucson is not. I, for one, don't want to be pushed out of my new home by planning ideologues just yet.
Soon-to-be Tucson Resident