The Range

Profile This!

More good news for stucco miners: A couple of Arizona counties again are No. 1 in the nation in growth! Neighboring Pinal County's housing stock jumped 16.6 percent in the 12 months leading up to July 2006. Those 18,000-plus "housing units"--which are anything from stately mansions to outback shacks--make Pinal the nation's leader, percentage-wise. Meanwhile, Maricopa added more housing units than any other county--some 43,000--according to our friends at the U.S. Census Bureau.

But we're still not hammering fast enough as a state to keep up with Nevada, which edged us out of the No. 1 spot. We think Pima County just isn't keeping up. C'mon, SAHBA: Get it in gear!

In other get-to-know-yourself news: A depressing 28 percent of Pima County single moms and their kids--or, as the government puts it, "families with a female householder with no husband present"--live in poverty, as do 15 percent of the overall households, according to the Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

As if that's not bad enough: Our old folks are lazy bums! Nationally, roughly one in four seniors between 65 and 74 is looking for work, but here in Arizona, less than one in five wants a job. What do those people do all day?

Juice No Longer Loose?

To help promote his new book, If I Did It, O.J. Simpson got himself arrested in Las Vegas in the wake of a caper to retrieve some sports memorabilia that he claims was stolen from him. Simpson and a posse of men allegedly forced their way into a memorabilia dealer's hotel room last Thursday, Sept. 13, to grab the items. Las Vegas police say that some of Simpson's pals were armed.

Simpson, who was acquitted of charges that he killed his wife, Nicole, and innocent bystander Ron Goldman in 1994, was arrested on charges of assault, conspiracy, robbery and burglary. Robbery and burglary? Isn't that just piling on the poor guy? O.J. may be facing up to three decades behind bars.

Tenuous Arizona angle: Busted with Simpson was Walter Alexander, 46, a Mesa resident who was also arrested for assault, conspiracy, robbery and burglary. Alexander may be ready to roll over on The Juice, according the Web site, which also posted an audio recording of the hotel-room incident.

Flight Risk

After disgruntled Southwest Airlines passenger Kyla Ebbert went on the Today show to complain that she had been nearly been tossed off of her flight from San Diego to Tucson because the crew complained her outfit was too skimpy, Southwest responded with a "minifares" promotion offering one-way flights for as low as $49. Warning to the ladies: Don't dress like sluts if you're going to take advantage of the low, low prices!

Book Keeping

Bookmans Entertainment Exchange announced that it had negotiated an extension of its lease at the location at Grant Road and Campbell Avenue. With The Range's midtown neighborhood having already lost shops like the Book Stop and Hear's Music, we're delighted to hear Bookmans will be around at least through 2013, by which time we're sure we'll have saved up enough for our foothills mansion. And it's not like we needed another Walgreens on that corner anyway--especially since there's already a Walgreens on that corner.

Speaking of the Book Stop: A slightly belated congratulations to Claire Fellows and Tina Bailey, who have re-opened the used-book shop at 214 N. Fourth Ave. We've missed you guys!

And while we're mentioning our old Campbell Avenue haunts: Don't forget that Santa Barbara Ice Creamery, with its multitude of gourmet flavors, has relocated to 1058 N. Campbell Ave., near the intersection with Speedway Boulevard.

At Least Nobody Got Tasered

A fumble inside the 5-yard line? An unsportsmanlike penalty? A safety resulting from an intentional grounding call against quarterback Willie Tuitama? Arizona fans endured a painful performance by the home team as New Mexico upset the bewildered Arizona Wildcats, 29-27.

The mood was so grim by the end of the night that the dean of Southern Arizona sports columnists, Greg Hansen of the morning daily, suggested that Stoops must be wondering if his career as a head coach is over. As Hansen puts it: "Progress since last season? None. It has gone backwards, way back to the Mackovic years."

Next up: Arizona plays its first Pac-10 game of the season against No. 6 Cal in Berkeley at 3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 22.

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