Skinny CRAPPY COPS FOR A GROWING COMMUNITY: The shallow local media recently reported that a truck carrying cyanide flipped over near Park Avenue and Ajo Way. Fortunately, the containers held and no spill occurred. According to the police report, the driver was speeding and lost control of the vehicle. But the investigating officer initially chose not to write the driver a ticket.

Only after Tucson City Councilman Steve Leal started screaming did the the cop's commanders order him to write the ticket.

Two thugs beat the crap out of a guy on Fourth Avenue, and the cops only write them misdemeanor tickets--at a general delivery address.

TPD cops apparently don't have time to investigate residential burglaries any more; stealing gasoline has been proclaimed no longer a crime.

TPD just must be saving all their precious cop time for the big stuff, right?

Right--that's why city bureaucrats recently sicced three cops on ward-only petition passers. The cops were knocking on doors and asking voters if they really signed those petitions to place the ward-only issue on the upcoming ballot. Sounds very much like police-state intimidation to us.

There's something rotten in the Tucson Police Department, and all the happy-face crap we're getting from the Tucson City Council on our new police chief isn't making it go away.

GO PLAY IN THE STREET: We've heard of slow police response time...but no response?

Parents, apartment owners, Amphi High School administrators and even Tucson City Councilman Jerry Anderson have complained to the Tucson Police Department about the 20 or so Amphi High School students and other young people sitting in the street (not on the curb, mind you) every morning at the corner of Yavapai and Stone Avenue.

In their youthful stupidity they've been jumping in front of cars, challenging bike riders, trashing private property, playing kissy face in the street and generally being a nuisance.

Problem is, they're going to get hurt. Amphi High administrators' hands are tied since these young idiots aren't on school property. And they don't respond to honks, dirty looks or pleas to move. Calls to the Rillito Station of the Tucson Police Department since August have gotten no response.

SHADES OF GREEN: Two political organizations, the Sierra Club's Grand Canyon Chapter and the Arizona branch of Common Cause, blasted Gov. Jane Dee Hull's phony Growing Smarter proposition--Prop 303--on the November ballot.

Growing Smarter was crafted by a real-estate lawyer in hopes of derailing a growth-slowing Sierra Club initiative that, sadly, never made the ballot. In other words, it was born a dirty trick, and it hasn't gotten any better. The Sierra Club is now arguing that passage of Growing Smarter would actually set back the state's environmental movement by making more difficult--if not impossible--to use the few tools currently available to local governments to restrain growth--things like impact fees, management plans and voter control.

"We have said all along that this measure is a slick move by legislators that would benefit developers," says Grand Canyon Chapter chairperson Kathy Roediger. "Proposition 303 would restrict our ability to protect Arizona's neighborhoods and protect our natural heritage, plus make it even more difficult to make new development pay for itself."

Representatives of Common Cause, meanwhile, point out Prop 303 creates a governing board to address the problem of urban sprawl. And who will sit on this board? Try this: a real-estate agent, a real-estate appraiser, a farmer or rancher, a real estate lawyer, someone who leases state land, and an education executive. In other words, six of seven board members will have an interest in seeing growth continue at its current breakneck speed; they'll have little interest in slowing it down. Prop 303 does make room for one member of a conservation group, who will surely be out-voted if he's not already on the take.

Common Cause also points out that, while the Proposition calls for $20 million a year to be used to acquire desert preserves, that's another slick sleight-of-hand trick. The measure creates two funds. One gets $20 million a year of state tax dollars, if lawmakers agree to appropriate it. A second fund will be filled by public donations. No money can be spent from the first fund unless it's matched by donations from the second fund, which means friends of the desert would have to raise $20 million a year in donations to actually get ahold of the money allegedly available for conservation. Anybody think that's going to happen?

But not everybody hates Prop 303. The Growth Lobby, which seems quite fond of the measure, is hoping to raise $1 million for an advertising campaign to support passage of 303.

As the folks from Common Cause observed: "If you were writing a parody on government corruption and Arizona's political captivity by the sprawl merchants, you couldn't do better than Proposition 303. It's a new low mark for deceptive ballot measures designed to pull the wool over the eyes of Arizona voters. It is a fraud, and the Governor of Arizona should withdraw her support of it."

TUSD'S CRIMINAL NEGLECT: It's no surprise that Tucson Unified School District Governing Board President Joel Tracy Ireland would obfuscate and manufacture diversions in his putrid attempt to cover up TUSD's failure to investigate the years of sexual harassment complaints against longtime darling administrator Edward Roque "Fast Eddie" Arriaga.

Ireland clearly thinks his law degree makes him a Floyd Abrams on First Amendment issues and a Clarence Darrow all in one. He's sadly mistaken; and the students, parents, taxpayers and teachers who've suffered with Ireland since 1989 should be screaming for his resignation.

Under Ireland's lousy leadership, TUSD has wasted tens of thousands of dollars trying to cover up allegations against Arriaga as well as the hundreds of thousands spent to settle two cases and to pay the district's second-string lawyers.

It's clear why Chandler Tullar Udall & Redhair, a firm that enjoys having its lawyers on political boards, punted Ireland to Goldberg & Osborne. Let's hope voters do the same when Ireland comes up for re-election in 2000.

In the face of allegations published first in The Weekly and only later in The Arizona Daily Star (which in fairness included complaints The Weekly did not have against Arriaga by female students), the rest of the TUSD Board blindly supported Ireland in calling for an internal investigation to root out who dared to expose TUSD corruption.

Arriaga retired last year with $90,000 in sick time, plus his retirement. Pressed back into action by Ireland, Arriaga should be relieved immediately of his duties as acting principal at Sahuaro High School. That would have been an easy move--one that would not even require putting him on leave during an investigation into recently revealed complaints. These go back to Fast Eddie's time at Tucson High, followed by his stint at Rincon High, before Ireland and his Board promoted Arriaga (after yet another nasty mess at Rincon) to be TUSD's Human Resources Director.

One of Arriaga's alleged victims calls him a "predator." There also was no hope of action from TUSD's so-called superintendent, George Garcia, the world's tallest amoeba.

We thought more of TUSD Board Member Mary Belle McCorkle. She should have confronted Ireland last week and demanded that Arriaga be dismissed while the complaints, other than the two cases that ended in payouts to two women, be investigated. And we weren't surprised by Ireland's pied-piper ability control lame-duck Brenda Even, soon-to-be-lame-duck Gloria Copeland, and his boy James Noel Christ. Ireland, despite some staged conflicts, owns Christ. He's in his family and he's in his head. Christ is too weak. Too weak, also, to oppose Garcia. That's because Christ has to keep Garcia happy. Christ, his wife, and his sister are all on the public tit at the Sunnyside School District, where Garcia's wife, Mary, is superintendent.

Christ bought into Ireland's bullshit theory that attorney-client privilege somehow trumps the First Amendment and the laws protecting employees from sexual harassment. This is what that dope actually said while toeing the Ireland line: "We hold attorney-client privilege near and dear to our hearts." Was he under the influence? This is a guy who routinely, in 1996 and 1997, blabbed to friends and supporters the details of TUSD secret executive sessions. The same guy who refused to come clean publicly about some of those secret executive sessions that violated state law.

Voters will take care of Gloria as they did for her mentor, Ms. Even, who was trashed by a neophyte, Ray Carroll, in the District 4 race for the Board of Supervisors. McCorkle needs some toughening up. Ireland and Christ, Rincon alums who once shared a commercial woodshop, are monumental embarrassments whose actions and inaction have hurt people. They should leave. Now.

FEW BRIGHT AND SHINY PEOPLE AT THE STAR: A glum mood at a recent cityside staff meeting at The Arizona Daily Suckwad. Circulation just hasn't responded to the new "with-an-edge" reporting and other recommendations from its expensive consultant--the same hatchet gal who "taught" the Arizona Republic how to get rid of people.

The Star brass imposed new curfews. Reporters must be chained to their desks by 9 a.m. or have a good excuse why they're absent. Is reporting a legitimate excusable absence these days? New deadlines of 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. also were ordered to help relieve the city and copy desks of the overwhelming burden of shoveling the news.

Meanwhile, reporter Tony Davis complained that he can't even locate a city editor to advise of the story he'll produce on any given day.

Tony is busy with Fairfield's Canoa Ranch development proposal that was stalled for 30 days last Wednesday by the Pima County Planning and Zoning Commission. Three commissioners missed the vote. Two missed the meeting, but don't look for the Star to tell you why they missed a vote on the biggest, most controversial rezoning since the original Rocking K. The Star didn't bother to find out that Sonny Rickles missed in observance of Yom Kippur. Nor did the Star press William Hausman, the super-genius appointed by Democratic Supervisor Sharon Bronson, on why he announced that he wanted a continuance and then left before the any vote. He had an appointment with his wife. Commissioner Bill Clark was on a vacation. It also would be nice if the Star would get Commissioner Tom Spendiarian's name right.

Tony is now working on several Canoa angles, given to him by his assignment editor, Democratic Supervisor Raul Grijalva. One is to link Canoa backers, and anyone who may have ever glanced at Canoa from I-19 on their way to Nogales, to supervisors. Tony is examining campaign contributions to supervisors in 1992 and 1996. Hey Tony, go ahead and request campaign finance reports for 1988, when Grijalva soaked up plenty of jack from the people he now opposes because of their affiliation with Canoa. Our copies are highlighted if you need some help.

WHATEVER THEY PRINT, WE'LL READ: We guess if you're the executive editor of The Arizona Daily Suckwad, you can run four front-page color photos and four long stories over a two-day period to advance a fund-raising dinner sponsored by an organization your wife helped found that's headed by one of your reporters and that's going to honor your administrative assistant. At least that's precisely what the Star's Steve Auslander did--or allowed--last week.

Meanwhile, Tucson's major newspaper forgot to mention:

  • That Monday was the last day to register to vote in the general election, and that several places would be available for last-minute registrations, including one that would be open until midnight.

  • That the only Tucson public hearing on proposed U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service pygmy owl guidelines was being held Tuesday night downtown.

  • That a public hearing on proposed amendments to the city's Comprehensive Land Use Plan was being held Wednesday night at City Hall.

Priorities? The Star don't need no stinkin' priorities.

MONSTER MASH: Pima County Superior Court Judge Mike Alfred's recent decision to grant the towns of Tortolita and Casas Adobes a trial over their contentions that Arizona's original 1961 municipal incorporation law was unconstitutional caught many by surprise. Too many. As Tortolita Town Attorney Bill Risner advised Tucson Mayor George Miller, try reading the case law instead of your own press releases.

As we've consistently reported, the State Appellate Court, in overturning the constitutionality of the 1997 law that allowed the communities of Tortolita and Casas Adobes to be formed, did not--repeat did not--order the two new towns disincorporated--because the Appellate Court didn't rule on the other issue, the constitutionality of the original 1961 law that prohibited those incorporations.

Instead, the Appellate Court referred that other big issue back to Judge Alfred. Tucson didn't want it heard; Tortolita and Casas Adobes did. Alfred ruled the new towns had a right to air their arguments. For you media bozos, including Star Executive Editor Steve "Blue Suede Shoes" Auslander: Alfred didn't grant, as the Star claimed, a "stay of execution"; he granted a new trial on other issues.

Auslander went nuts over the judge's action. In an editorial he berated Alfred and compared him to "Dracula" for giving life to the dead. He then babbled about how the original law was not only good and necessary, but clearly constitutional. One might pardon Tortolita and Casas Adobes for desiring a second opinion from an actual judge. It would also appear that Auslander knows as little about literature and history as he does about law: The real Dracula impaled people in 15th-century Romania, and the fictional version was a vampire. The analogy he was seeking would be more clearly represented by Dr. Frankenstein.

Judge Alfred is to be commended for having the courage to ignore the massive campaign of disinformation waged by the City of Tucson and the total ignorance of the issue displayed by the Star and TV airheads, who acted as surprised by the ruling as Miller. Next time, try ignoring the PR handouts and instead read the actual decision.

A Citizen editorial on the matter was only slightly less irrational. The writer also didn't quite grasp that if the law that prevents incorporation is unconstitutional, the two new towns have a right to exist. The Citizen editorialists, too, need to stop believing the city's BS and ask a real lawyer what the courts actually said.

They said the towns have a right to exist until their case is heard. Simple justice. Got it now?

VALLEY FOE: The imperialists running the developer haven of Oro Valley expected the new Town of Tortolita to be blown away in court recently. So the Oro Valley thugs not only illegally annexed bleeding chunks of Tortolita to satisfy a gaggle of out-of-town land speculators, but they physically moved in with cops and road crews and acted like the decision to disincorporate was already made. It wasn't--see above.

But it's even slimier than that: Oro Valley cops have set up speed traps on La Cholla Boulevard aimed only to the north. Which means the only speeders they want to bag live in Tortolita. Never mind the speeders coming from the South--they could Oro Valley residents on their way home. Chickenshit? You bet.

So Tortolitans, well-organized group that they are, have decided that since Oro Valley bureaucrats want their revenue and will harass them to get it, maybe it's time for them to quit shopping in the crappy town that produces these pathetic schemes. A boycott of Oro Valley merchants is spreading with the hopes that Oro Valley businesses owners will let the politicians in charge of their town know that their illegal policies are hurting both their own businesses and their sales-tax base.

Why feed the hand that bites you? TW

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