Media Watch

It Used to be Joe's Town

I guess organized crime in Tucson ain't what it used to be.

Neither paper seemed terribly interested in the Nov. 2 death of Joe Bonanno Jr. , younger son of the late New York Mafia don Joe Bonanno. Joe Jr. raised horses on a small ranch near Sacramento, Calif. He died of natural causes.

The Arizona Daily Star "took wire" in its Nov. 12 edition--not from some Associated Press reporter in Sacto who knew something, or played a hunch, about the old New York "crime families," but from AP's eye on Tucson, Art Rotstein.

Depending how much effort the Tucson Citizen wanted to put into its Saturday paper, it could have had the story as well. But no. Not a word, wire or local.

Wonder why.

The buzz we've heard is that the Citizen had the inside track on the story, but editors spiked it because just being Joe Bonanno's son wasn't enough to warrant the space and effort for a news obit.

(Strangely enough, the Arizona Republic--the Citizen's Gannettoid big sister in Phoenix--picked the story up.)

Hmmm. It merited something. He wasn't just the younger son of a Mafia boss. He was a collegiate rodeo star while attending the University of Arizona.

Well, maybe by the time this is on the street, columnist Jeff Smith will have done something to help the Citizen play catch up. Back in July 1999, according to this publication's archives, Jeff recounted a tale of getting into a shoving match with someone over the attentions of an attractive girl.

The other party to the shoving match was Joe Bonanno Jr.


Our spies in The Naked Pueblo passed something along that's just too true to be funny.

The Citizen's Central Tucson Today product hit the streets last week, we're told, and it all looked pretty slick until someone looked closely at the "Dear Reader" note editors use with editions of publications like this.

Thus scribed Michael Chihak, the Naked Pueblo native who's come home to be editor/publisher of the Citizen: "The complete guide to the heart of the Old Pueblo is designed to give longtime Tusconans and newcomers alike a fresh look at what makes Tucson tick."


If we can say anything about the battles among radio station owners seeking licenses in out-of-the-way communities, it's this: Over time, they begin to resemble the two guys in safari gear smacking each other across the face with fish.

We've heard nothing since early October in the fight over assigning an FM frequency to the alleged community of Tanque Verde since the CCR-Sierra Vista IV limited partnership answered ex-Tucsonan Ted Tucker's objections and offered a cross-application.

CCR-Sierra Vista IV says there already are transmitter sites in the Pusch Ridge Wilderness Area and that there's no need to make a full presentation explaining why they think Tanque Verde is a community distinct from Tucson.

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