The Range


SO LONG, SIDEWINDERS! WELCOME BACK, TOROS! The Tucson Sidewinders wrap up their final season in Tucson with a 7-2 loss to Salt Lake (as well as a forfeit of the previous day's rainout, which management decides isn't important enough to finish). The Sidewinders, who are headed to Reno, Nev., next year, finish the season 60-82, which qualifies them for last place in the Pacific Coast League's Pacific South Division.

Wish we could say we were going to miss them, but their departure opens the door to a whole new ballgame: Former Sidewinders owner Jay Zucker announces he's bringing an expansion team to town. The Tucson Toros, a new team in the independent Golden Baseball League, are slated to play at Hi Corbett Field, bringing back a tradition that was lost when a previous owner moved the Triple-A Toros to Tucson Electric Park and then renamed them the Sidewinders in hopes of creating a profitable baseball experience.

That didn't work out so well.

GUESS THAT ABSTINENCE-ONLY EDUCATION DIDN'T WORK OUT SO WELL: Republican John McCain's presidential campaign announces that vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's 17-year-old daughter Bristol has been knocked up by f'in Alaskan redneck Levi Johnston. The campaign reveals that Bristol and Levi will wed and keep their baby. As governor of Alaska, Palin--who opposes abortion even in cases of rape or incest--has not supported sex education that includes information about contraception.


AND THE WINNER IS: It's primary election day--and only one in four voters in Pima County bothered to vote. For a more detailed look at the results, check out this week's Skinny column or visit our online campaign headquarters,


STRATEGIC HEADQUARTERS: UA President Robert Shelton and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords turn out for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the university's new National Center for Border Security and Immigration, Research. The UA is one of several universities that will study strategies to secure the border and deal with immigration policy.


PROMISES, PROMISES: Arizona Sen. John McCain accepts the GOP nomination for the presidency of the United States. Says McCain: "I fight to restore the pride and principles of our party. We were elected to change Washington, and we let Washington change us. We lost the trust of the American people when some Republicans gave in to the temptations of corruption. We lost their trust when rather than reform(ing) government, both parties made it bigger. We lost their trust when instead of freeing ourselves from a dangerous dependence on foreign oil, both parties and Sen. Obama passed another corporate-welfare bill for oil companies. We lost their trust when we valued our power over our principles. We're going to change that. We're going to recover the people's trust by standing up again for the values Americans admire. The party of Lincoln, Roosevelt and Reagan is going to get back to basics."

MOVING IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS: Arizona Catholic bishops Gerald Kicanas and Thomas Olmsted announce their support for Proposition 102, which would amend the Arizona Constitution to ban gay marriage (which is already illegal anyway). The bishops say that "without constitutional protection, the legal definition of marriage as we understand it today in Arizona is subject to redefinition."

Last year, Kicanas reached out to gay Catholics, saying he was "very sensitive to the concerns I have heard from people of same-sex orientation that they feel they have no place in our parishes or in the household of faith. We need to consider how we as a Diocese or how I as bishop may be generating such misunderstanding."

POMP AND DIRE CIRCUMSTANCE: UA President Robert Shelton announces that "the time has come to take bold action that will radically change the way we operate." Shelton says the UA has to improve efficiency while improving the education delivered to students. He says the administration will soon begin a review that could include reorganizing (read: closing) various schools within the university.


SO LONG FOR NOW, JACK: The Associated Press brings us the news that disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff has been sentenced to four years in prison. The AP reports: "Abramoff, who fought back tears as he declared himself a broken man, appeared crestfallen as the judge handed down a sentence lengthier than prosecutors had sought."

Abramoff cooperated with Gary S. Chafetz on a new, soon-to-be-released book, The Perfect Villain: John McCain and the Demonization of Lobbyist Jack Abramoff.


FORMIDABLE JUGGERNAUT: The UA football team continues its powerhouse start to the season, defeating Toledo by a final score of 41-16. The Cats, who blew out the Idaho Vandals by a score of 70-0 last week, are now 2-0 on the season. The Wildcats face New Mexico on the road this Saturday.


TALLY-HO! Election officials across the state finish counting ballots from Tuesday's primary, allowing us to learn that the GOP slate for the Arizona Corporation Commission will include Bob Stump, Marian McClure and Barry Wong, while the Democratic slate will be Paul Newman, Sandra Kennedy and Sam George, if that is indeed his real name.
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