Happy Birthday To Us!

The 'Tucson Weekly' Turns 14.

By The Editors

YOU PROBABLY DIDN'T notice, but this edition of the Tucson Weekly happens to be issue one of Volume 15. Yes, it was 14 years ago that the first issue of TW appeared, a feisty 12-page journal wailing in its barrio crib. We've been growing like a weed ever since, to the eternal annoyance of certain powerful individuals who prefer a well-manicured lawn of closely cropped local media.

But now is not a time to mull those things that divide us; we'd rather celebrate our many accomplishments in the year that has just passed--a very good 12 months, for both the Tucson Weekly and our many subsidiaries and spin-offs.

Currents We had many journalistic accomplishments in our pages during the last year, but we're most proud of our hard-hitting investigation of the Jon Benet Ramsey murder, which uncovered a vast right-wing conspiracy behind that terribly tragic killing. We can only hope the culprits are soon brought to justice.

But good journalism is just the start around Tucson Weekly, Inc. Many of our readers don't realize this, but The Weekly was just the acorn from which has sprung a vertically and horizontally aligned conglomerate of business interests that grossed more than $460 million in the last quarter.

Take DB Homes, our development arm. Back in the early '90s, when those S&Ls were falling like the President's trousers, we were savvy enough to invest some of our profits in bargain-priced land in northwestern Pima County. That land became the glorious 50,000-unit master-planned community Rancho Con Queso. The final component, Manatee Ridge, was built out about six months ago, well in advance of all that pygmy owl nonsense. And we have to tell you--it was a pleasure doing business with the folks in Marana. Mayor Ora Harn: You go, girl!

It was a good year for our professional sports franchises as well. Two years ago, when the World League of American Football expanded to include our new franchise, the Merthyr Tydfil Inkjets, who would have dreamed that they would win the Eurobowl championship in their second season? A point of pride for both the Tucson Weekly and all the people of Wales.

Our Arena Football team, the Casa Grande Ruins, fared nearly as well, with that heartbreaking loss in the final round of the playoffs. Just wait 'til next year, guys!

In Hollywood, our motion picture division, DiamondBack Studios, produced three of the top-20 grossing films of 1997. We're sure you remember Paul Hogan and Mel Gibson in There's an Angel in the Billabong (co-produced with Australia's Hey Mate productions), and Martin Short's brilliant performance in Honey, The President's On Fire! (It's not often you get Martin Amis to pen a screenplay like that!) And who can forget Sylvester Stallone's thrilling portrayal of a vampire detective in Coptacula?

The enthusiastic response to our adaptation of one of Jane Austen's most under-read works, Laundry Lists and Doodles, at its premiere at Sundance just weeks ago leaves us confident that we have a bright year ahead.

But we do much more than bring quality entertainment to the American people. At DB Laboratories, we've seen some amazing discoveries this year. Perhaps the biggest breakthrough, next to the fruit-flavored, fully edible socks, was the first successful cloning of a Fourth Avenue "crusty punk."

And our chain of Mexican fast-food restaurants, Hector's Hideaway, Inc., is expanding rapidly in the great Canadian northwest, where American processed cheese is quickly gaining ascendancy over other, less healthy, indigenous moose-based byproducts.

In the works for the year 2000 and beyond:

  • A massive, Tucson-based condo/shopping mall complex with its own RV center to be named in honor of legendary land speculator Don Diamond or the cactus ferruginous pygmy owl--whichever croaks first.

  • Global Breast-Implant Clinics. This retail venture designed with the busy working mom in mind was founded by a group of Phoenix-based plastic surgeons in the 1980s. When Tucson Weekly, Inc. completes its acquisition in 1999, we will be in a unique position, together with our partners in the American processed cheese industry, to boost profits dramatically while providing a safe, FDA-approved, inexpensive implant medium to all women.

As we said above: Many accomplishments, much to be proud of. But rest assured that no matter how many subsidiaries we may develop, the Tucson Weekly will always be priority No. 1. And, as we predicted, all those lay-offs here last November have actually strengthened our product.

Happy Birthday, Tucson--and many happy returns!

--A. Bradley Dongas III
Vice-President In Charge of Sucking Up
Tucson Weekly, Inc.

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