Weekly Wide Web

How Independent Is the Independent?

I cheer for most news-based websites in this town to succeed, even if they are competitors of ours. I tend to believe that the more informed people are, the better, and eventually, those informed people will be smart enough to frequently hit "refresh" on The Range, our daily dispatch.

However, the catch is that these various blogs, news sites and whatever need to not be terrible. (Well, it's great for me on a comic level for them to be terrible, but it's not good for the city in general.)

Arizonadailyindependent.com stretches the very idea of independence. It isn't exactly terrible, but it's close, generally either reworking the same press releases everyone gets, or mangling news stories to fit some sort of agenda (seemingly to get Republicans elected). The worst part is that some people seem to read the site like it's a trustworthy news source, despite the fact that none of the stories have bylines, and that most of the so-called facts that are used lack any sort of attribution.

For example: A recent article on state Sen. Steve Pierce, an apparent ADI enemy, mentions twice that Pierce will be bounced out of his role of Senate president in the next session ... but who says? I have a guess about who's floating that idea (and I would be willing to bet he's wrong).

Take whatever stand you like as a writer, but it's best for everyone if you play by the rules.

The week on The Range

We wondered why the city of Tucson rescinded a job offer to Portland, Ore.'s transportation director, Tom Miller; grumbled a bit at a column by the Arizona Daily Star's Josh Brodesky; kept up with the drama at a Tucson Unified School District board meeting; chastised the powers-that-be for taking down the impromptu art along the streetcar construction; wondered why Wil Cardon's tough stance on immigration doesn't seem to extend to his own businesses; and discussed the highlights of the week's political events with Congressman Ron Barber, Trent Humphries and Jeff Rogers on Arizona Illustrated's Political Roundtable, with your host, Jim Nintzel.

We shared one author's tips on living vegan; asked if you're tough enough to take on the wing challenge at Brushfire; made fun of Yelp for a bit; shared info on some new restaurants; and took some photos of the grand opening of Hotrods out in Vail.

We listened to new music by Jimmy Cliff, Frank Ocean, the xx, the Shins and No Doubt; told local high-schoolers to count their blessings that they don't attend Manual High in Denver; gave you the opportunity to play copy editor for a day; glimpsed the apparently bacchanalian atmosphere to come at London's Olympic Village; asked if you'd consider adopting Scout or one of his friends at the Humane Society; kept you up to date on the Tucsonans participating in the main event of the World Series of Poker; suggested you get tickets to see Girl Talk at the Rialto; enjoyed a game of You Don't Know Jack on Facebook; found ourselves transfixed by a local man's mustache; watched Calexico perform with some Austrians; tried unsuccessfully to get ourselves a Bob's Burgers poster; and wondered why anyone would want to go to a 4-D movie.

Comment of the week

"Let those who have never shopped at Walmart for whatever reason throw the first stone, including the author of this piece. My OTC allergy pills are always much cheaper there, so I'm not going to throw any. And I like the $5 DVD bins."

TucsonWeekly.com commenter "nunaurbuz" disagrees with a columnist's take on Walmart (Gargulinski, July 12).

Best of WWW

A few odds and ends: This week, we have a great multimedia look at the work of a minimalist artist whose work is on display at the University of Arizona Museum of Art, on The Range.

Also, there's still time to enter to win tickets to see Seal at Casino del Sol's AVA on Aug. 3. The deadline to get your name in the hat is July 27.

Also, if you're interested in Tucson music, you need to get your vote in for the final round of the Tucson Area Music Awards balloting. Voting ends on Aug. 1, and if you don't vote, you can't complain when your favorite local band doesn't win.

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