The Skinny

PISSED OFF: Here's the latest from that bastion of virtue and decency known as Salpointe Catholic High School. It seems that senior members of the boys swimming team took it upon themselves to perpetuate a Salpointe initiation tradition by urinating on freshmen team members. Outraged parents contacted the coach, who promptly (and correctly) dismissed the guilty seniors from the squad. But the seniors' parents, waving checkbooks and expressing outrage of their own, went over the coach's head to the athletic director and administration and somehow got the kids reinstated in time for the regional and state meets.

Word of the situation leaked out (pardon the expression) and a big meeting of Salpointe coaches was held a couple weeks ago. Coaches from several other programs were disappointed in the way things were handled. Said one coach: "If the AD doesn't have my back on (disciplinary matters), I don't want to be here."

Wonder if all this had anything to do with Father Simon Kenny's abrupt decision to resign earlier this week?

OUT OF THE CLOSET: Word around City Hall is that Mayor George Miller and City Manager Luis Gutierrez earlier this month ordered building officials to approve plans for the controversial student housing project at Stone Avenue and University Boulevard. Neighbors in the area have complained, unsuccessfully, that the complex will not provide enough parking.

Those fears seem to be justified based on the recently approved plans. Most of the apartments are two- and three-bedroom units and each also contains a "study." These "studies" will have direct access to separate bathrooms and are almost identical in size to the bedrooms. What they don't have, however, are built-in closets. Which means, apparently, that they are not bedrooms under city regulations. Thus, the developer isn't required to provide any additional parking spaces.

But anyone who thinks students won't be occupying these rooms is either smoking something illegal (unless it's used for medicinal purposes) or a developer trying to squeeze every last apartment unit into a building project.

TEMPER, TEMPER: Those stories continue to circulate about Senator John McCain's mad-dog temper. Personally, we don't think a bad temper is a disqualifying factor. If it were, we'd have had to flush Andy Jackson, George Washington, Harry Truman and Teddy Roosevelt in favor of emotionless weenies.

One story making the rounds hereabouts: McCain's old buddy and erstwhile major fundraiser, Tucson car dealer/water guru Jim Click, found out firsthand about McCain's temper. Click supposedly called McCain's office on a routine matter. While he was discussing it with a staffer, McCain discovered that Click, who is raising bundles for presidential rival George W., was on the horn to his office.

We're told McCain grabbed the phone and proceeded to tell Click he could "go fuck himself." We can't confirm this happened, but we not only believe it did, but -- with all deference to Mr. Click -- certainly hope so.

WEED WACKY: The City of Tucson's Solid Waste Department is patrolling for property owners who aren't cutting down those all-pervasive weeds. In fact, they've flunked an entire neighborhood. It seems several hundred people in the area south of Prince Road and west of Romero Road received a registered letter containing two extra pages informing them they were in violation of city codes on trash and weed removal.

The mailing cost city taxpayers $3.20 in postage alone for each letter, which apparently was sent to every house. A check of the neighborhood revealed little to complain about at most residences. The owners of these homes are wondering why the city chose to spend several thousand dollars threatening all of them for what are clearly the violations of a few. Hey, for that much money they could've hired a crew and just cleaned the stuff up.

And we're wondering why the signer of the letter, Environmental Services Supervisor Lucy Valdez, uses a letterhead with no phone, fax or e-mail address. Lucy didn't give the option of asking questions; she's clearly not interested in taking any.

The inspector is Rick Mendoza, so we assume he's the white-glove guy who decided everybody was a violator. And this happened in Councilman Jerry Anderson's Ward 3, so maybe he can pursue it for several hundred rather perplexed constituents.

WHOOPS: The final sentence of last week's feature story on the ragged relationship between Gov. Jane Dee Hull and environmentalists was inadvertently clipped. It should have read:

In the end, Jeff Bouma says, he agrees with Robin Silver: "The only way you can deal with the governor's office and the Legislature on environmental matters is to put things on the ballot."

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