The Range

Road Warriors

Citizens at a Ward 3 Neighbors meeting last week blasted elements of the Pima Associations of Governments' regional transportation plan that officials hope to take the ballot next May.

They didn't like the idea of widening Grant Road. They didn't like the proposed streetcar between UMC and Rio Nuevo. They didn't like the idea of building roads on the edge of town. They didn't like the make-up of the citizen committee that shaped the plan. They didn't like the tax on children's clothing.

Tough crowd!

Want to have a say in the plan that shapes the future of our community? Hurry up! PAG is still accepting comments through the end of the month. Add your input at one of the final RTA meetings: 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 25, at Desert View High School, 4101 E. Valencia; and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 31 the Nanini Library, 7300 N. Shannon Road. Or visit the Web examine the plan and weigh in via e-mail.

Officials plan to revamp the plan and have more public meetings beginning on Tuesday, Sept. 20.

By the way, have you checked out those gas prices lately? The cost of a gallon of unleaded statewide jumped on average by 11 cents in the last week, shattering previous records, according to AAA Arizona. In Pima County, the average cost of a gallon of unleaded climbed to $2.507. Man, we're glad we didn't buy that Hummer we were lusting after earlier this year.

Here's a scientific tip from AAA Arizona: "Buy gasoline during coolest time of day--early morning or late evening is best. During these times gasoline is densest. Keep in mind--gas pumps measure volumes of gasoline, not densities of fuel concentration. You are charged according to 'volume of measurement.'"

Hey, It Worked in China

Finally--a real solution to our border woes! State Rep. Russell Pearce last week proposed building a big ol' wall across the entire Arizona-Mexico border, paid for through a special new tax. Pearce suggested the proposal could go before voters, possibly next year.

Obstructionist Democrats pointed out the wall couldn't go on federal land and would require the permission of private landowners. Based on the price of a similar fence in California, they estimate the costs at $1.7 million per mile, or a total of $580 million, setting up the accusation that Pearce was proposing the biggest tax hike in Arizona history.

Peggy Toomey Hammann, acting chair of the State Democratic Party, called the proposal "a pretty hare-brained idea. Aside from the fact that federal tax dollars should be paying to secure our international borders, this Swiss cheese fence won't even stop crossings."

What Are the Odds?

Attorney General Terry Goddard accused a Circle K clerk and her sister of swiping a winning lottery ticket worth more than $1 million from a customer who came in to see if he had a winner.

Goddard said that Nogales Circle K clerk Delia Kerr swapped out the winning ticket with a loser and pocketed the winner when an identified man came into the store. Kerr, 50, and her 41-year-old sister, Susan, cashed in the ticket on July 17 and opened a bank account in Tucson.

Nogales police arrested the sisters on Aug. 15 on theft and fraud charges.

If you're the real winner, go ahead and give Goddard a call!

Face Time

Republicans are howling that Gov. Janet Napolitano has stuck her mug up on billboards across the state advertising Arizona tourism. Former state Sen. John Greene, one of the few Republicans willing to challenge Napolitano in next year's election, filed a formal complaint against the governor with the Attorney General Terry Goddard, who undoubtedly immediately launched an investigation.

Set Your TiVo Now!

Early voting is moving along slowly in the midtown Ward 6 Democratic primary between Nina Trasoff and Steve Farley, with 1,035

Democrats having requested early ballots as of Friday, August 19. By that time, exactly zero independents had expressed an interest in voting. If you want an early ballot, call 884-VOTE (that's 884-8683).

Wanna know more than what they'd like for supper? Trasoff and Farley face off in their second televised debate this Monday, Aug. 29, on KUAT's Arizona Illustrated, airing at 6:30 p.m. and midnight. On hand to question the candidates will be Arizona Illustrated anchor Bill Buckmaster and Range scribe Jim Nintzel. The winner of the Sept. 13 primary will face Republican Fred Ronstadt on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Also, catch a profile of Range illustrator Rand Carlson by reporter Sooyeon Lee this Sunday, Aug. 28, on KUAT's bilingual program Reflexiones. The program airs at 9:30 a.m. on Channel 6.

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