Pope-Free Zone

Welcome to another exciting issue of the Tucson Weekly. In this week's paper, you will find very little coverage of what's been dominating the mainstream media for the last week: the death of Pope John Paul II.

While this is obviously a big deal, both nationally and locally (especially considering the large number of Catholics who call Tucson home), we're shying away from the issue for one simple reason: What in the world could we possibly add to the flood of coverage that the pope's death is already getting? What more is there to say?

This isn't to say that we won't chime in at some point. But for now, we're going to shine our spotlight on news and events that have more of a direct, immediate impact on our lives. And there's a lot going on. The Minutemen--and the media coverage of the Minutemen--are wreaking havoc in Cochise County. The city of Tucson is proposing some rather interesting changes to permitting procedures that, some say, could affect free speech and the freedom of assembly in Tucson--and not for the better. Borderlands Theater, meanwhile, is producing a thought-provoking play about the goings-on at Guantánamo Bay.

Then there's the cover story. A version of "Confessions of an eBay Opium Addict" originally ran in the Reno News & Review, a newspaper we have a close relationship with; I thought the story was so compelling that we needed to run it. It's disturbing; check it out.

None of this has much to do with the death of the pope. But it's all coverage with information that's definitely worth knowing.

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