The Range

Johnson Squeezed

George Johnson, a strong contender for worst developer in all of Arizona, found himself beneath the million-pound shithammer when Attorney General Terry Goddard popped him with a civil suit accusing his outfits of blading state land, destroying Native American ruins and killing endangered bighorn sheep.

"This wanton destruction of Arizona's heritage resources by George Johnson is unprecedented," Goddard proclaimed in a release helpfully sent to reporters who couldn't attend his flashy press conference.

Johnson bladed 2,700 acres of private and public land without required permits as part of a lunatic scheme to build 67,000 homes in Pinal County near the Ironwood Forest National Monument. Johnson's bulldozers plowed straight over 270 acres of "diverse and pristine" state trust land, as well as Hohokam ruins and an estimated 40,000 protected plants, according to the lawsuit.

"We're not talking a few feet here and there," Goddard said. "We are talking about moonscaping 270 acres over a period of many weeks, knocking down saguaros, filling in creeks and washes used by wildlife, and destroying priceless archeological sites."

As if all that wasn't enough, Johnson also set loose a herd of 4,000 to 5,000 goats, many of which jumped from his property into the Ironwood Forest National Monument, where they gave endangered bighorn sheep diseases that blinded many and killed at least 21, according to the suit.

We're gonna love these depositions.

From Beyond

See the Huygens space probe hurtle through the atmosphere of Titan! Hear the eerie whine of Huygens' descent before it crashes on the surface of the gargantuan moon of Saturn! Breathe the heady ammonia atmosphere that surrounds this strange new world!

You can do the first two by visiting the UA's Web site, where the Lunar and Planetary Science gang has posted both multi-media experiences in easy-to-download formats. You'd have to do the third with your own household ingredients, although for legal liability reasons, we do not recommend you actually huff cleaning fluid while watching the clips.

UA scientist Jonathan Lunine reported at the American Association for the Advancement of Science that Titan is likely to have a layer of ammonia-and-water slurry that occasionally erupts from beneath its icy surface in a fit of cryovolcanism, producing the molecular nitrogen that's heavy in Titan's atmosphere, according to UA infonauts.

In more way-cool science news, the plucky Cassini space probe that delivered Huygens has delivered fresh snapshots of Titan, as well as neighboring moon Enceladus. Check 'em out yourself at


UA alums Jenny Finch and Amanda Beard both lounge on Caribbean beaches in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue now on newsstands, if Tom Danehy hasn't snatched all of them up for his collection.

Softball phenom Finch is a bronzed vision of loveliness in a gold-and-black OndadeMar, while Beard, winner of seven Olympic swimming medals, stretches across a three-page fold-out in a green-and-white Speedo.

Former UA basketball superstar Richard Jefferson does some lounging of his own in Coney Island with the alluring Teresa Lourenco, who accents her curves in a sweet cocoa bikini from ViX Swimwear.

On the court, the UA men's basketball team had one hell of a final home weekend, dispatching both Oregon teams by margins of more than 20 points. In his final home game, Salim Stoudamire scored an astonishing 31 points, including a record-setting nine three-pointers, and was later named Pac-10 Player of the Week.

Wheels of Fortune

The generous Pat Choate has donated a 1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II to the Primavera Foundation, the do-gooder outfit that helps the homeless with shelter and job training. The Mark II, which cost a staggering $10,500 back in '56, was owned by the likes of Elvis, Sinatra and Eisenhower. Only 3,100 were produced, because production costs were higher than the sticker price, according to Primavera's Deb Dale.

"This car is so hipster-cool," says Dale, who expects the organization will auction it on eBay following further examination.

In other eBay news, Range correspondent Chris Brooks pointed our browser in the direction of auction item No. 4353224520: The Climax World Famous Gentlemen's Club and NUDE Drive Thru of Pittsburgh, Pa. As of press time, the reserve bid had not yet been met.

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