Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Will Treasury Sec. Paulson cut global warming?

WASHINGTON -- Hank Paulson is an environmentalist, and he's Bush's pick for US Secretary of the Treasury. Looks like he'll be easily confirmed.

He is affiliated with the Nature Conservancy, for sure the most pro-business 'enviro' group in the land, and quite controversial. The Washington Post did a several part series on TNC not too long ago that detailed many conflicts of interest, bad land deals, and serious compromises to conservation.

In Arizona, TNC has often been controversial with the conservation community, called the 'Nature Conspiracy' by some.

But I'll give Hank a chance. Economic policy clearly has many effects on natural resources and quality of life. Maybe Hank can figure out a way to push economic policies that value the environment, and cut global warming pollution -- the biggest issue of our time. He could push it, if he wants to and has the guts. He'd for sure get some major push back from the White House to get back to the real job of making the ultrarich even richer.

Remember, Hank, natural capital is what sustains us all. Value it highly.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Honor vets, end Bush's failed bloody Iraq war

USA -- Honor the war dead, wounded and those who served. Also remember all the millions of civilian dead and wounded from wars.

Hold distanced cold leaders like Bush/Cheney Inc. fully responsible for their mistakes and bad decisions that are killing so many.

Boot the GOP and any war supporting dems in Nov.

End the Iraq war now! That is what these vets and thousands of other vets are saying, including in Arizona.

This holiday we should listen.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Becoming an energy CEO: going solar at home

June 2 update: All done. Makin' juice on the roof.

TUCSON -- Work starts soon on our home solar system. We're becoming an energy producer.

It's a good deal right now, especially if you're a TEP customer.

Solar power is clean money.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Best TV weatherman in Tucson: Chuck George

TUCSON -- The best TV weatherman surely is Chuck George at KOLD 13. He does a great job explaining complex climate science to general audiences.

Today Chuck did a great job explaining why Tucson smog was bad today and how it jumps in the summer with intense sun mixed with auto & industry pollution, causing harmful ground level ozone locked in by our surrounding mountains.

Today ozone was in the 'moderate' category, which means bad for you. I rode my bike, and coughed a few times.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Natural fires help our Sky Island mountains

TUCSON -- Natural lightning-caused fires, like those burning today in the Santa Catalina and Pinaleno Mountains, help renew our mountain landscapes and web-of-life.

The real, and unreported question is why is the Forest Service still spending stacks of public money and risking firefighters lives trying to put out eco-helpful fires that threaten no one?

Summerhaven and Mt. Lemmon are not threatened, they already burned -- in part due to decades of USFS fire suppression and related small tree fuels build-up -- and are now much more firesafe.

The science is clear on natural fire, it helps our mountain ecosystems and prevents mega-blazes later. The media must do a much better job covering the benefits of natural fire, and the Bush Forest Service's mistakes on fire fighting.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Corporate media one-sided on Bush border visit

TUCSON -- The national, state, and local corporate media were pathetic yesterday and today in their lame reporting of Bush's visit to Yuma.

Little to no dissent or concern about border militarization, triple walls, etc. mentioned, despite clear public concern and good contacts on the issue in AZ.

The reporters didn't even call as they prepared their one-sided puff pieces to promote Bush's big gov't line.

So much for freedom of the press, and anyone who believes big media is liberal is foolish.

Maybe some reporters will make up for it and present some other views in the next few days? It's the least they could do.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Bush on AZ border to sell dumb militarization plan

YUMA AZ -- Bush was in Arizona today, putting on a propaganda show about his sure-to-fail border militarization plan.

The media mostly ate it up, showing Bush in a Border Patrol off-road vehicle ride, and generally presenting a one-sided US gov't-only view.

At the same time, south of the border in Mexico, President Fox blasted Bush's plan for 370 miles of triple-layer walls along the border, calling it 'shameful and stupid'.

Racist right-wingers -- a strong part of the Bush base -- are still bitching, wanting to wall the entire border.

Bush is souring our relations with Mexico, which is not good for America, Mexico, or Arizona.

Time to take to the streets again. Concerned Americans and Mexicans must unite to stop this deadly border madness. More border actions soon.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Senate OKs Jon Kyl's triple wall disaster

WASHINGTON -- The US Senate voted today to build 370 miles of triple wall along the US-Mexico border.

The walls won't work, but they are a huge hit against human rights and the environment.

No thanks, facists. Especially all the lame ass dems who supported it.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Wind, dust, rain and snow in southern Arizona

TUCSON -- Stormy and hot today.

Saw snow on Rincon Peak and high north side of Rincons near places like Manning Camp (photo) about 5pm today.

So cooool looking from the hot streets near downtown.

Wind, dust and bad air in the city. Some people to the southest are getting lucky with some rain.

Please, mother nature, send us some rain.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Bush jumps for militarization of US-Mex. border

VOTE MAY 16 in Pima County RTA election.

TUCSON -- Prepare for 6000 more of these guys, walls, roads, prisons, and the National Guard along the US-Mexico border by the end of this year, according to Pres. Bush in DC.

It is a bad idea for Arizona and the southern borderlands. The best bill this year likely is no bill.

Bush's plan to use the guard will likely happen in AZ, where our dem Gov. has lamely supported it, even called for it. It will happen in TX for sure.

But it may not happen in CA or NM, where other Govs. have opposed using the guard. Bush wants to deploy at least 6000 guardsmen this year, adding stress to our already maxed-out military.

If the guard is used, it should be to build wildlife-friendly vehicle barriers in strategic and at-risk places, such as the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. Once the vehicle barriers are in place, agents should patrol in trucks only on roads right on the border or outside wilderness, and anywhere on horse or foot.

The fragile and unique border environment will be jeopardized by Bush's escalation of border militarization. It may be the final nail in the coffin of US extirpation of the cactus pygmy owl, Sonoran pronghorn, and other endangered species. Bush himself tonight said 'walls and patrols only will not stop (illegal immigration)'.

Bush's plan also fails to crackdown on employers who hire undocumented immigrants. He doesn't want to offend friends in big ag. and sprawl construction, etc. That would piss off the GOP base, and he won't do that. Those are his buddies, the only people in the world who really strongly support him.

How will Mexico and its military react? Mex. Pres. Fox does not support Bush here. Fox could send troops to the Mexican side to protect his country. All it could take is some shootings of the wrong people at the wrong time and a war could break out.

Bush will be in Yuma Thursday and I hope some local desert rats will protest and make it hotter.

But be sure to watch out along the border for the forseeable future. You and your family could get caught in the crossfire.

AZ citizens fight Bush to keep pygmy owl protected

UPDATE, May 15, 2:30pm: Judge Bolton ruled against halting de-listing at this time. Important hearing set in Phoenix June 2 where she could decide owl should be protected.

Very disappointing, but this is just the first step and greens will keep doing everything legally possible to protect the owl. The owl is clearly endangered and rapidly losing habitat in southern AZ. DRP

TUCSON -- Local greens had to go to court Thursday to try to block the Bush administration from serving greedy developers by unjustly removing Endangered Species Act protection for the cactus pygmy owl.

Due to poor land management and political meddling from DC, it is estimated that only 13 owls are still alive in Arizona. Bush's wacko unethical position is that it's OK for the owls to die out and go extinct in the Grand Canyon State. Most Americans do not agree with the President's anti-conservation extremism.

Loss of the pygmy owl and its habitat directly relates to loss of our own quality-of-life in AZ. The Endangered Species Act works, and only continued ESA protection will save the owl in the Sonoran Desert.

This is a nationwide story, read about it in today's Washington Post or on KVOA.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Bush invades privacy on 10s of millions US calls

WASHINGTON -- It was revealed today by USA Today that Bush's National Security Agency (NSA) has been keeping records on tens on millions of domestic phone calls.

Cooperating phone corporations included AT&T, Verizon, and Bell South. Complain to them if you are a customer.

Denver-based Qwest, which provides most local landline phone service in Tucson, did not provide the info to the NSA. I'm no big fan of Qwest, but good decision on this one.

Bush is out of control with his disrespect for Americans' privacy rights, and the Senate must reign him in now.

Too bad once again Jon Kyl (R-AZ) was there again in the Senate and media representing the extreme GOP right-wing saying this was all OK. Kyl is a Bush lapdog and has to be voted out in Nov.

Monday, May 08, 2006

RTA: Vote yes on 1, 3 & 4; No on 2. Vote May 16

UPDATE, May 16, 10pm: All four issues passed today. DRP

TUCSON -- I voted early by mail today in Pima County in the Regional Transportation Plan (RTA) and mental health election.

Here's how I voted:

Yes on 1, 3 and 4.

No on 2.

Yes on question one: I like enough of the RTA plan to vote yes for it -- urban streetcar, wildlife improvements, transit boost -- but there are a lot of problems with it still, especially too much emphasis and money for road widenings, new roads like the western expansion of Aviation Hwy. boondoggle, and other pavement expansions.

Road widenings will harm quality-of-life and not solve anything. The expanded roads will simply displace homes and businesses, and the extra lanes will fill up with cars right away.

People need to get out of their cars more, and this RTA plan simply won't do it.

No on question two: I cannot support the sales tax funding approach for the RTA plan. It simply isn't fair and will harm poor people more.

Developers and/or gas tax should be paying for the plan and saying no to the sales tax will help make it happen.

I hope Steve Farley gets in to the State House and battles it out for proper funding of transportation. But say no to this unfair tax.

Yes on 3 & 4: We need better mental health care in Pima County, not more people in jails.

There you have my recommendations on how to vote in this important Pima County election. Yes on 1, 3 & 4. No on 2.

One more tip: if you don't like the traffic, carpool or ride a bike -- maybe even in combo with the bus. Tucson has great bike routes all over town.

Please vote.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

RTA roads plan debate in S. Tucson Wed. 5:30pm

TUCSON -- Check out a great debate on the proposed RTA transportation plan and tax this Wednesday May 3, 5:30-6:45pm.

Sponsored and moderated by the Santa Rita Park Neighborhood Association, it will be at the Sam Lena Library on S. 6th Av. in South Tucson.

Proposed widening of 22nd St. through neighborhoods south of downtown is likely to be a major topic.

Hear both pro and con arguments to help you prepare for the May 16 county-wide vote.