Thursday, May 17, 2007

Talk of the Town: "Pumping will harm the Upper Verde River"

John Zambrano lays out chapter and verse on what we all know to be true. I'd like to say that it will end the chaff-tossing on this and allow us to start moving forward on a reasonable solution, but that would be more than optimistic.

Even the most ardent pumping advocates agree privately that their plan is unsustainable, but they think they can buy time for technology to provide the solution. Everyone at the top of this issue knows what the solution is: a massive solar-powered desalination operation on the Gulf of California providing water for the entire Sonoran region. Up here in YavCounty we're fighting over table scraps when we could be planting the farm that will feed us all. It's pathetic.

Update, 7:15 May 18: We interviewed ADWR Director and way cool cat Herb Guenther today, and without prompting he laid out the solution exactly as I have above. Listen on 89.5 FM Saturday or Sunday at 2pm -- it's in two parts, the first this weekend and the second probably week after next.

Editorial: "Yavapai County: Rural in name only"

I saw this headline and first wondered whether I was in for another inadvertent rerun on the op-ed page, but no, it's not the same as yesterday's. Just the same idea, lamenting our loss of innocence and bucolic bliss, applied over a list of county budget requests related to lawnforcement. And my response is the same: y'all think growth is good, don't bitch when you get what you want.

Seriously, guys, we could use some deep, integrative thinking from people who closely watch the flow of events in our area about where we're headed and how we can shape our progress to build and maintain the community we all want. That's the sort of leadership an editorial can contribute. This sigh-and-surrender-to-the-inevitable BS is totally counterproductive.

Letters: Brass tacks

Today we've got more outrage about the Prescott East Strip Mine -- editors, here's another gift from your readers of an idea for a hot story -- as well as a dope slap about teacher pay and a whiny golfer.

Here's my idea for golf courses: restore the land and unspoil your good walk, boys.

A1: "Copper Basin could be under construction by June"

There's something sort of endearing about this Council-meeting report by Cindy Barks. Under a straight, boring headline, this very straight story about the road-work bid veers off into backroom-deal territory toward the end, where we get hints of contractors and city staff stabbing each other in the back. In a bigger town that part might have been the whole story, with an investigation of shoddy work and corner-cutting, maybe a sniff test around conflict of interest or collusion. But in Prescott it's deemphasized and made polite. Very nice.

A1: Bleeding leads

Yikes, we've got a lot of gore today. Sentencing for the guy who supplied the gun for a head shot, two dead in a high-speed head-on, another guy stabs his girlfriend 80 times. It's coincidence that this all comes up on the same day, but it's bound to reinforce unreasonable fear of crime and mayhem. This might be a good reason to pull out some of that "community journalism" stuff to provide a little balance, but -- well, check the editorial above.

A1: "Plate covers may not keep motorists from getting a ticket"

I'm not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, Mirsada Buric (today with the '-Adam' reattached, for some reason) brings us some straight news, that DPS is undertaking tougher enforcement against photo-obscuring plate covers. On the other hand, she provides brand names and pointers to those covers and a particular spray-on glosser. That seems awfully close to the line for aiding and abetting, and I'm not sure the paper ought to be helping spread the idea that evading traffic enforcement is a legitimate sport. I think the whole camera-enforcement thing is pretty dumb, but let's not pile stupid on stupid.

Update, 9:25: Oh yeah, and let's not forget number agreement in the headline.

Cartoon: Updated food pyramid

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

I got so scared I forgot what I was supposed to be scared about last week. Somebody remind me.