Thursday, August 31, 2006

Pederson hits Kyl on 'Gone Washington' oil ads

PHOENIX -- US Senate challenger Jim Pederson is hitting incumbent right-wing Republican Jon Kyl hard right now with the truth about Kyl's allegiance to big oil ripoffs and pollution, just like his pals Bush & Cheney.

Jim's well done 'Kyl's Gone Washington' TV ad is not negative advertising, it is the truth.

Kyl is a servant to big oil, refusing to support corporate accountability and responsibility during a time of record oil profits. In return, the oil bosses pay him well.

Kyl wants us all to pay more for fuel so big oil can make max profits. He fights against alternative energy sources that would make us less reliant on foreign oil from shady sources.

Kyl has also always fought against cutting global warming pollution, risking our future economy, environment, and lifestyles.

Good job, Jim Pederson, telling the truth about Kyl's anti-public interest sell-outs to big oil.

Keep up the tough, truthful campaign.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Leaving the Center for Biological Diversity Sept. 1

TUCSON -- I've worked as Desert Ecologist with the Center nearly a decade, in California, Arizona, and across North America. I'll be leaving on good terms Friday.

At 35, it's time for me to move on up and do some new things.

I plan to stay in the southwest -- now looking for a new job -- and continue to work on media, conservation, and politics.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Giffords wins CD8 candidate debate on KUAT

TUCSON -- Adding to her clear leading momentum in the CD8 dem primary race, Gabrielle Giffords did the best Friday night v. the others, some of them strong, in a debate on Arizona Illustrated.

Her smart campaign seems to be going well. I think we are looking at our likely new US Rep. for CD8, Ms. Giffords, which is a good sign for fair and balanced politics in our future.

Please get out and vote for Giffords in the Sept. 12 primary.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Change is...

TUCSON -- Change is...

needed, scary, liberating

limiting, expanding or maybe both

sometimes wise, sometimes stupid

a part of our world

no matter if you like it or not

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Bush pays ranchers; broke on desert fire control

TUCSON -- Bufflegrass, first brought to Arizona by ranchers, is a huge threat to the health of the Sonoran Desert.

Bufflegrass fuels unnatural desert fires which kill saguaros and wreck the Sonoran Desert web-of-life.

Scientists, Pima County, UA, conservation groups, and others are wise to identify the threat and start to do something about it.

But the Bush administration natural resource agencies are doing little to help. Managing bufflegrass needs a lot of resources, so the feds need to kick in some cash.

Hopefully if Congress changes hands Rep. Grijalva will be in a better position to direct fed funding toward bufflegrass control projects.

Maybe the money would be there if the Bush administration (BLM and Forest Service) wasn't subsidizing damaging public lands ranching at a loss of $150-500 million a year.

Ranchers brought the bufflegrass in, and continued desert ranching helps spread bufflegrass and other weeds. Roads, off-road vehicles, and urban sprawl also help spread weeds.

The feds must stop paying welfare to so many rich hobby ranchers, and start paying to manage bufflegrass to save the native Sonoran Desert we all love.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Vote no on Food Conspiracy plan to raise prices

TUCSON -- The Food Conspiracy Co-op, a decent co-op I used to work at and that I and many others have supported for decades, is pushing a bad plan to end discounts and boost fees. Vote no on both issues.

Bottom line, it would make it even more expensive to shop at the co-op. It could doom the store.

The GM Ben and some staff are in support, as shown in the one-sided propaganda mailing the conspiracy sent out with the ballot.

But where are members at on this? I've heard from some who think it is a terrible idea. Where is the balance and counter-arguments? Shame on the lack of debate. We all own the co-op, and all sides should be given equal say. Good thing I have this blog.

If you are a Food Conspiracy member, please vote no to both questions on the ballot you should've been mailed. You can also vote at the store until Sept. 15.

Another issue: the co-op is considering a new location on Stone north of Grant. Too far, keep it closer to downtown.

Monday, August 21, 2006

'Lock 'em up' Arpaio will put 3000 migrants in tents

PHOENIX -- 'Put 'em in jail,' repeated Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio tonight on the PBS NewsHour.

Even though he is not a border sheriff, the NewsHour had him on to talk about immigration. He is a disgrace to the Grand Canyon State, and an example of why Maricopa County is so screwed up.

Sheriff Joe's mad attacks are another reason to avoid Maricopa County. He wants to put everyone in jail.

I'll give him some credit, Sheriff Joe did say border walls will not work.

Arizona state Sen. Jake Flake, a right-wing Republican and a cattle rancher, is also skeptical of walls. He agreed that attempts to seal off the border are not likely to be successful.

"I find that if you put a bunch of steers in a pasture and run out of feed, there isn't a fence good enough to hold them. And I think people are the same: When they're hungry, there's not going to be a fence big enough to hold them," Sen. Flake told AP on Aug 19.

Beyond the wall issue, Arpaio has made it loud and clear that he'll seek out and to keep locking up as many undocumented people as possible. He says he and his posse already have put 300 in jail, and he's ready to jail 3000 in tents in the hot desert.

Joe whined and complained that he was the only sheriff in AZ enforcing 'lock 'em up laws' against illegals. He is the only one doing it because he is the only one who is such a right wing zealot to waste law enforcement resources and a lot of taxpayer money on jailing workers. None of the AZ border sheriffs are doing it because it makes no sense.

Next time you can't get a deputy in Maricopa County, remember, instead of helping you with a real crime, Joe's boys are probably out cuffing roofers and gardners and hauling them out to the hot tents.

Joe was asked if he could point to any reduction in crime. Of course not. But he clearly seemed to represent an increase in Phoenix-based racism and right-wing police state hatred.

Someone good who knows real and fair law enforcement priorities please run against Arpaio and beat him in 08. Sheriff Joe has got to go!

Vote yes on 106, first step for State Lands reform

TUCSON -- As an ecologist, I've been thinking about this modest proposal a long time, but finally decided to endorse Prop. 106, 'Conserving Arizona's Future'. Vote yes on Prop. 106 in November.

Anti-environmental cattlemen and the crazy right-wing State Legislature are fighting against it, which is a sure sign you should support it.

Arizona has over 9.1 million acres of State Lands, much of it important open space wildlife habitat and recreation areas near Arizona's population centers.

Vote yes on Prop. 106, it is a small but important first step for overall State Lands conservation. Much more will have to be done in the future, but passing Prop. 106 is a start.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Forest Service should let Sabino Cyn. road erode

TUCSON -- With the road up Sabino Canyon destroyed by natural flooding, now is the time to keep it that way to restore and re-wild this spectacular canyon.

Roads cut habitat and wilderness experience.

Trams could still operate up to the blowout, and hikers could still hike up the whole canyon. In fact, it would be a better experience for hikers without the motorized tram and paved road.

Let the Coronado National Forest know you want the road to erode. Keep it closed, for nature and our own spirits. Let's do the right thing for Frog Mountain (aka Santa Catalinas) and not repair the old road.


Friday, August 18, 2006

All GOP CD8 candidates wrong on global warming

TUCSON -- Tonight on Arizona Illustrated all the Republican candidates for the CD8 seat gave disturbingly wrong responses to a question on global warming.

They questioned whether global warming was real or not. Hello!?! Even most oil corps. and their hero W. agree with the scientific consensus that global warming is real and a serious threat.

They blamed volcanoes and nature for any global warming they said may be happening, and said they wouldn't do anything to cut global warming pollution.

These GOP jokers are in a fantasyland. Global warming is real and we are a primary cause of it, all credible scientists agree. That is a fact not open to debate. Wannabe politicians who won't acknowledge science and facts should absolutely not be elected.

If you want Arizona to be more polluted, drier & hotter, and suffer all the other huge threats to our lives from global warming, vote Republican. I know you are not that dumb.

NO on AZ Prop. 207, a dishonest developer scam

PHOENIX -- Don't fall for the latest lies and scam attempt by big corporate (mostly out-of-state) developers.

Vote No On Prop. 207!

Arizona Taxpayer Nightmare

Costly for Taxpayers. Harmful to Neighborhoods.

Proposition 207, deceptively titled “Private Property Rights Protection Act,” is a confusing bait-and-switch proposition on this fall’s ballot. It pretends to guard against eminent domain problems, but in reality it is an extremely expensive, confusing and bureaucratic measure that forces governments to pay speculators for alleged value losses or waive zoning laws and rules for them. Our taxes would be paid to special interests simply because those interests must comply with laws that protect our homes, our property and our communities.

Prop. 207 is primarily a project of out-of-state speculators — they spent nearly a million dollars just to get it on the ballot. If Arizona voters take their bait on the ballot this fall, we, not these out-of-state deep pockets, will have to live with the consequences of this costly and dangerous measure.

No on Prop. 207 - Who are the losers if Prop. 207 passes?

Taxpayers – This would enable irresponsible developers to demand huge payouts from taxpayers for alleged losses to their property values. Just ask the people of Oregon where a similar measure was passed in 2004. They now face nearly $4 billion so far in potential payouts to speculators. This money must be diverted from critical programs such as public safety, public health, parks and transportation.

Local communities and local voters – Prop. 207 would undermine the ability of local voters to decide what types of projects are appropriate for their neighborhoods and how their communities should grow.

Police and fire departments – They would face tighter operating budgets as taxes are diverted from essential services and they would have to deal with the inadequate infrastructure of unregulated development.

Businesses – Prop. 207 invites lawsuits to determine what actions require what levels of compensation. This would bring local land-use processes to a halt while courts sort it all out – delaying and increasing the costs for worthy local projects.

Neighborhoods – New zoning or ordinances to protect historic buildings, changes in density or building height limits, or any neighborhood preservation codes would be impossible or very costly to implement.

Wildlife, native plants, and natural areas – Protecting wildlife habitat, native plants, hillsides, and washes would be more costly or unfeasible under Prop. 207. Far-sighted efforts to preserve our quality of life, such as Pima County’s award-winning Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, would be crippled.

Cultural preservation – Prop. 207 would make it expensive or impossible to protect cultural and archaeological sites, an extremely important part of Arizona’s history and culture.

Vote NO on Prop. 207

To learn more go to

Organizations Opposing Proposition 207 (growing daily)

Neighborhood Coalition of Greater Phoenix

Neighborhood Coalition of Greater Tucson

Center for Biological Diversity

Defenders of Wildlife

Phoenix Historic Neighborhoods Coalition

Sierra Club – Grand Canyon Chapter


Arizona League of Conservation Voters

Republicans for Environmental Protection

Friends of Flagstaff’s Future

Arcadia/Camelback Mountain Neighborhood Association

Arizona Public Interest Research Group

Old World Communities, LLC

Richard Elias, Chairman, Pima County Board of Supervisors

Arizona Planning Association

Trust for Public Lands

Arizona Preservation Foundation

McDowell Sonoran Conservancy

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Chickens zigzag on mud like monsoon lightning

TUCSON -- The chickens are a layin.

The woman is a chasin and a yellin. Into the coop?

City law allows you 24 hens. Get them today.

The eggs will give you power.

Nice monsoon this year around here.

No on 207. More on that later. Get some sleep tonight.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

My enchanting moves on the desert winds

In Las Vegas on an election Tuesday

the desert tortoise is not winning

tack cheeze politician signs littering

the overstimulation of the city.

oh the land of enchantment

lucifer, or lucina?

a Dr. that won't treat you

but maybe?

hot sunset through the windy haze

the night glow is coming.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Alaska oil spill and Yuma NAFTA/sprawl highway

UPDATE: 8/31/06. Rep. Grijalva's office says he is on record supporting a full Environmental Impact Statement for the Yuma Hwy., but says AZ DoT is opposing full review. Both of these points are true. Grijalva does not appear to be supporting or opposing the current proposed unwise route, and points to the fact that it was a local decision made before he entered Congress.

Gov. Napolitano and AZ DoT are bigger problems on the Yuma Area Service Hwy. proposal. DRP

PRUDHOE BAY AK & YUMA AZ -- Another reminder of the dangers of our oil addiction is the black sludge seeping in to the arctic environment from a huge British Petroleum oil spill under a pipeline that was not well maintained.

BP has shut down its huge facility here, which is likely to result in another spike in US fuel prices across Arizona and the west.

Too busy making tons of cash ripping us all off, BP wasn't being watched by federal regulators in the Bush administration or GOP dominated Alaska so they didn't maintain their giant oil pipeline. Then the black pollution gushed out.

Clearly BP spends much more on its slick 'beyond petroleum' ad campaign than it does to prevent pollution.

BP: Bogus Propaganda.

The oil industry has been massively deregulated and let off the hook by warmongering Bush/Cheney, Inc. Now we all pay the price, in cash, global warming, and pollution.

Drill for more oil in Alaska, Mr. Bush? No way, Jorge!

Don't like it? There is an easy way to fight back. Stop buying so much fuel and using so much power. Ride a bike and ease up on the A/C. Reject big oil by cutting back to save our asses.

Arizona is very well positioned for clean energy with good weather, lots of sunshine for solar power, good breezes for wind power in the right places, easy bike riding, and a clear compelling need to curb global warming so it won't become impossible to live in ovens like metro Phoenix.

Many are doing their part and leading by example.

It's a start.

A related Arizona oil addiction road item of big concern is Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ7), a good guy, my congressman, and usually a strong environmental champion, may be supporting an unneeded NAFTA/urban sprawl highway in Yuma strongly opposed by Arizona conservationists.

After many warnings and requests from the public, ADOT and Federal Highways Administration are still trying to illegally permit the new Yuma NAFTA/sprawl highway on a very flimsy environmental assessment, refusing to present reasonable alternatives and do a detailed analysis and mitigation plan as required in an required Environmental Impact Statement.

In his large district, Raul stays left in Tucson, his natural progressive leaning which is what most of his constituents want and support. But sometimes politics push Grijalva more to the right on issues near Yuma, where right-wing cementhead wackos usually dominate local government serving Yuma's smaller population.

Raul could be in some strange tough spot on this. The bad NAFTA/urban sprawl Yuma Area Service Highway (aka AZ 195) is not yet built. The current route would slash fragile desert habitat and even cross the Goldwater Military Range! A feasible better route avoiding environmentally sensitive areas has been recommended. It can and should be chosen, and Raul should push hard for a better option.

I am checking in to it and have asked Raul's staff for perspective on the CANAMEX highway bill he just introduced. I support Raul and want to give them time to explain. More on this later.

Governor Napolitano is responsible for ADOT's unsupportable and aggressive position on the highway. Her staff listened and looked at the issue, but the Gov. still hasn't reigned in ADOT's out of line director Victor Mendez on this issue.

There is still time for Grijalva and Janet to do the right thing to change the Yuma highway route, and they absolutely should.

Friday, August 04, 2006

AZ wildlife at risk from Kyl/Bush triple border walls

TUCSON -- Right-wing extremist Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) got the Senate Wednesday to fund 370 miles of triple walls across the US-Mexico border.

The Kyl/Bush new Berlin Wall won't curb illegal immigration much, but will be a disaster for the environment, endangered species, human rights, and our relations with Mexico.

The Center for Biological Diversity and others are leading the fight against this madness.

Congressman Grijalva and Derechos Humanos Coalition will be hosting an important real public hearing about the border in Tucson Aug 17. More on that later.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

AZ trained Israeli bombers cause oil spill disaster

LEBANON -- An on-going huge environmental disaster oil spill caused by Israel is killing the Mediterranean sea. The giant oil slick has now reached the coast of Syria, likely much to the delight of Dick Cheney.

In its aggressive and deadly unjust war Israel intentionally bombed Lebanese oil infrastructure, causing the catastrophe. Endangered species may be wiped out due to the oil pollution.

The Israeli military does alot of training at US bases in Arizona (see my story below). I, for one, am tired of it. Israel out of Arizona!

Israel has done more than enough to 'defend itself'. Only the US can make Israel halt the killing and destruction now, but the Bush adminstration and too many right wing nuts in congress are hardly trying.

This war could spark World War III. Watch out.