The Range

Cat Boxed

No more cold nights, missed meals or begging for spare change! Arizona Game and Fish officials rescued a homeless mountain lion from Sabino Canyon on Friday, April 9, and re-located it to a luxury wildlife rehabilitation center in Scottsdale, where the living is easy--except for the minor point that adult cougars tend to die when relocated into captivity, according to environmentalist Daniel Patterson of the Center for Biological Diversity. "We're not optimistic this cougar is going to do very well," says Patterson. "It's a big loss to the ecosystem, because cougars are essential for regulating populations of javelina and deer."

The capture came after attempts to hunt down several lions in Sabino Canyon turned into an ongoing fiasco last month. The cougar, a 2-year-old, 80-pound female, was nabbed by a snare that was baited with a dead deer just a half-mile from Esperero Canyon Middle School. Game and Fish officials say they believe it's the same lion that was recently seen on school property, but Patterson argues that there's no way to definitely establish that.

"We feel like this secret baiting and trapping of the cougar in Sabino Canyon showed that the Forest Service and Arizona Game and Fish were dishonest about ending the hunt," Patterson says. "This lion did nothing wrong. It was captured because these agencies have a bias against lions, and they wanted to show they were going to get a lion."

Hoop Dreams

Speaking of cats who are leaving town, UA sophomore Andre Iguodala gave up his remaining two years of athletic eligibility to enter the NBA draft later this year. Iguodala led the team in rebounds (253), assists (147) and steals (48) during the Wildcats' lackluster 2003-'04 season. He also recorded three triple-doubles--a feat matched only by California's Jason Kidd in Pac-10 history, according to UA officials. Land War

Former Arizona Gov. Bruce Babbitt, who served as the Clinton Administration's Secretary of the Interior, endorsed Pima County's upcoming $174 million open-space bond proposal, which voters will decide on May 18. Meanwhile, the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce announced it was opposing the open-space proposal, expressing concern about "an overall lack of oversight and accountability to ensure that revenues will be spent in accordance with the stated goal of the proposal." Additionally, the board noted that "the issue of 'open space' itself has not been clearly defined, leaving many unanswered questions about public access."

The chamber endorsed the other five questions on the bond ballot.

Download This!

University of Arizona officials said they would turn over the names of four alleged file-swappers demanded by a Recording Industry Association of America subpoena late last month. The four pirates were using the UA's vast computer network to facilitate the illegal sharing of songs. UA spokeswoman Sharon Kha says the university will comply by May 6 unless the individuals go to court to block the release. Kha says it's the first such subpoena she can recall, but "that is not to say that we do not, on our own, institute policies and practices that discourage file-sharing, because it uses up a huge amount of the university capacity." Ted Frohling, UA assistant director for network services, says file-swapping can account for up to 80 percent of activity in the evening hours, but that's partly because little official business is underway at those times. Frohling says students tend to download music, movies and porn. University officials encourage students to respect copyrighted material.

Pumped Up

Local unleaded gas prices hit a record high of $1.90 a gallon, according to AAA Arizona spokesman Yvette Ortiz Lopez, who sees prices as high as $2.15 a gallon on the horizon this summer. Lopez tells The Range that Arizona, California and Nevada now have the highest prices in the nation.

"We haven't had relief in more than a year," she says.

The news was especially tough on SUV drivers who are paying $75 to fill up their tanks; they seem surprised to learn that driving big-ass cars with shitty gas mileage could somehow restrict supply and increase prices.

In related oil news, all hell broke loose in Iraq, with widespread opposition to American troops in at least six cities. Meanwhile, in Washington, national security advisor Condoleezza Rice testified before the Sept. 11 commission that there was no reason for President Bush to have been overly concerned about an August 2001 CIA memo entitled "Bin Laden determined to attack inside the United States." Rice dismissed the memo--which revealed that al Qaeda agents were working within the United States and that the FBI had observed "patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York"--as "historical analysis."

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