May 25 - May 31, 1995

[The Skinny]

LICK THIS: Somebody over at The Arizona Daily Star must be an avid stamp collector, given the recent coverage of the Postal History Foundation, which just completed knocking down a nice old home in the West University Historic District. We knew they favored knocking down the house judging from an earlier editorial featured in the paper, but we had no idea of their great interest until we saw the profile of one of the foundation's volunteers following a Weekly article pointing out the loss of another historic Tucson building.

But heck, our favorite friend to developers, Si Schorr, is also the same guy who represented Postal History when they beat up the neighborhood in court.

But could somebody please tell Steve Auslander that it's presidents of the United States who get their pictures on stamps in the year following their death, not editors of local papers who fail to help preserve buildings that make up the heart and history of this city?

CATALINA EGG TOSS: The Skinny caught a couple of parked police cars and a fire truck just inside the gates of edgy Catalina High School on the last day of school. Seems like the campus was awash in eggs and shaving cream for the last several days of school, culminating in a rather large egg toss smack in the middle of Pima Street last Wednesday, the last day of examinations for the students. This is apparently a Catalina tradition and occurs at some other local schools, but sources say this year it was out of control.

Reports are that not only were the school's rotten eggs out there tossing crap, but so were some of the good eggs--kids who behaved all year--leading one teacher to remark, "That really hurt, because it showed how things have deteriorated in terms of kids behaving responsibly. It was pure vandalism." Another teacher witnessing the egging said the kids were throwing them back and forth across the street. As a result, authorities had to cordon off of Pima Street in front of the school. The inside of the school had its share of broken eggs and shaving cream as well. Catalina insiders say that if we thought the outside smelled bad, we should have been in the egg-littered halls.

Shaving cream, whipped cream and syrup were also on the menu for the last day, with one teacher reportedly being told by a Catalina administrator to return a can of shaving cream to a student because it was the student's "personal property." We wonder if the kid had a razor blade to go with that can.

A quick tour of the surrounding neighborhood showed egg cartons lying in streets nearly two blocks away. One teacher observed, "You wouldn't know kids were taking exams, there were so many of them outside at one point." It wasn't like the school's administrators didn't know eggzactly what was coming down. Egg cartons were seen at the school as early as Monday, the last day of classes, and several teachers didn't park their cars in the front parking lot Wednesday for fear they'd be vandalized.

And you thought having a high school in your neighborhood added to property values?

STAR LAYS AN EGG: And when it comes to egg on the face, one teacher at Catalina wanted to know when Star education reporter Kristen Cook's big article on the school was coming out, because everyone's been waiting for it. We don't know, but obviously nobody's in a big hurry over in that gray morass they call a newspaper. FYI to our city's supposed paper of record: School's out for the summer, meaning out of sight, out of mind. Do try to run Cook's piece around the end of August, when it might serve a little more notice to TUSD and Principal Linda Schloss that citizens who pay school taxes want their schools to be effective, safe and even teach a thing or two. Yeah, we know, the yolk's on us.

GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS: Good news and bad news for developers in Marana from the May 16 election. Following up on the success of Mayor Ora "Mammy Yokum" Harn and Vice Mayor Sharon Price, voters elected some more stooges (or stooge wannabes) to control the Town Council at least until the next recall.

Bad news for developers was voters rejected the Town Council's rezoning which would have let New World Homes clear-cut another 400 or so acres.

Of course, that could be reversed at the next council meeting. Winning the award for perhaps the most arrogant comment of the entire campaign, New World Homes spokesman Carl Winters told The Arizona Daily Star he didn't believe the zoning vote "means much of anything." He predicted the developer will be back with a proposal for even higher densities.

This is the same Carl Winters who used to be a reasonably respected city planner. Then, as a private consultant, he became the guy who re-wrote Marana's zoning plan as a sorta "public service." Two months later he was going before the Town Council representing developers and telling the rubes what his clients wanted "conformed to the plan."

Apparently Carl didn't learn a thing from the election results. Here's what Carl should've noticed--that to put a zoning approved by the stooge council in Dogpatch on the ballot out there only requires 70 signatures, which is about three hours of work. And if you really want to inflame Marana voters in the future, just give them Carl's quotes about how they don't know what they're doing. We suspect any council members craven and stupid enough to roll over for his clients again will be back in the recall box along with future referendums.

THE ABSOLUTELY FINAL RUMOR ABOUT STEVE NEELY LEAVING: He isn't until the end of his term as Pima County Attorney. He got his visa extended and will be with us through 1996.

So all those rumors about who would get the appointment are pointless.

Which means Pima County Republican Party Chair Rex Waite doesn't have to finish his classes at Joe Sweeney's Alexander Hamilton School of Law in another attempt to get the Pima County Board of Supervisors to appoint him to yet another open position.

WARD ONE HIGHLIGHTS: To be fair to Rex Waite, he hasn't done a bad job in the area of raising money. Looks like the GOP fatcats are going to go all out for Ray Fontaine in Ward 1, no doubt hoping that a bruising Democratic primary involving all south and westside factions will split up Demos enough to slide in a Republican.

The latest Democrat planning to enter the race is former state Sen. Luis Gonzales. He gave up that seat to get creamed by Morris Udall for Congress in one of the dumbest political moves in Southern Arizona history. He then went on to be crushed by Dan Eckstrom in the 1988 Demo primary for supervisor in District Two, and he got thrown off the ballot in his aborted attempt to run against District Five Supe Raul Grijalva in 1992 Demo primary.

Already in for sure is Jose Ibarra, Tucson Mayor George Miller's campaign manager in 1991 and a former aide to Grijalva, and Irma Yepez-Perez, a former aide to Councildude Bruce Wheeler, who's giving up his seat to run against Miller for mayor. Whoopee.

Gonzales, who never does straight up what he can accomplish obliquely, has had his petitions picked up by a guy named Eddie Rios. Considering the massive fraud Gonzales committed in 1992, maybe he should spend a little less time playing with who fronts his petition pick-ups and a little more time getting real voters to sign them.

BIG ED GETS NEW WHEELS: It's not quite as flashy as the $24,000 Chevy Caprice City Manager Mike "The Spike" Brown stuck the taxpayers for, but Supervisor Big Ed Moore has scored a brand new Ford Crown Victoria. It's blue, has far less glitz than Brown's, and only cost the taxpayers $17,900.

Normally, we'd let this piece of pork go by, but this is the fourth vehicle Moore has acquired since August of 1987, when he grabbed national press for turning in the keys to his county-provided car in a symbolic gesture to show how frugal he was with the taxpayer's money.

That frugality lasted until shortly after the September 1988 primary, when Moore's wife had some problems with one of the family cars and Moore put himself back on the rolling dole again. He's been rationalizing his free wheels ever since.

Supervisor Dan Eckstrom also picked up a new Crown Vic, and the other three board members, except for Supe Mikey Boyd, drive similar freebies. It should be pointed out that Eckstrom, along with supes Raul Grijalva and Paul Marsh, never showboated the issue like Moore did. Boyd has his own showboat trip, turning in the county car in another burst of public relations B.S. Of course, he never mentioned that he wanted mileage for use of his personal car instead.

MILLER'S PETTY HYPOCRISY: There's big-ticket hypocrisy, like Ed Moore and the car above. And then there's the day-to-day petty hypocrisy others deal in.

Tucson Mayor George Miller regularly receives material from the Democratic National Committee which he distributes to his six Democratic colleagues on the City Council. This is obviously highly partisan material, so why does Miller--otherwise a saintly goodie two-shoes about so many other petty partisan items--use the city/taxpayer-supplied fax machines to circulate this stuff?

That's as direct a violation of city statutes as having your aide work in a campaign on city time, isn't it?

Some people commend Miller for these attempts at partisanship. Considering how much money he'll be collecting from GOP fat cats in the development community for his "pro-business" stands, it's about all he's done lately to look like a Democrat.

ALL THE NEWS THAT FITS THEY CLIP: Tucson City Manager Mike "The Spike" Brown runs a clipping service called the "Weekly Media File" and distributes it to other departments each week. It's a synopsis of articles about the city that appear in the local press, along with related articles about other governments and stuff in general.

And guess what weekly publication is never mentioned, even when we don't mention Mike's new car? That's right--the Tucson Weekly. Boy, are we hurt.

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May 25 - May 31, 1995

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