Smith: Watching the river flowby Dylan Smith on Dec. 01, 2007, under Local
It’ll take more than a few days of rain to make up for climate changes that scientists report are breaking down the West’s natural water delivery system.
Rising temperatures don’t bode well for Arizona’s water supplies, with possible severe consequences for power generation and development.
And the end-of-week rains didn’t resolve water concerns of the Pasqua Yaqui Tribe, whose challenge of a groundwater rights settlement involving the Tohono O’odham Nation was rejected by the state Supreme Court.
But Arizona’s supply of the valuable resource faces other challenges.
The state rejected a bid by a company to export groundwater to a growing area in southern Nevada.
Closer to home, Augusta Resource Corp. wants to build a line to deliver Colorado River water to Green Valley to offset groundwater pumping for its proposed copper mine in the Santa Ritas. A public hearing is set for Dec. 5.
Sunday’s forecast calls for clearing skies and some warming. Yep, more dry heat.
(Not) watering the grass:
There are some fighting the good fight to save our desert.
The Sonoran Desert Weedwackers pull non-native buffelgrass out by the roots, removing the invasive species that chokes out native plants and increases wildfire risk.
The group’s volunteers have yanked out 65 tons of buffelgrass and fountain grass from Tucson Mountain Park.
Getting into the seasonal spirit of giving are Don Diamond and wife Joan.
They ponied up a $15 million donation to kick-start fundraising for a new children’s hospital at University Medical Center.
The Diamond Children’s Medical Center, projected to cost $55 million, will also house UMC’s new trauma and emergency department.
The last time you took your kid to the ER for a five-hour wait, you probably could’ve been persuaded to write a check almost that big. Right?
2008 with a Bullitt:
A bit more easy on your pocketbook would be a $25 ticket for a charity raffle.
To encourage donations to local charities, Jim Click is raffling off a 2008 Ford Mustang Bullitt. The car dealer hopes to generate $1 million for the 224 local groups participating.
You, too,, can be as cool as “über icy” Steve McQueen, who made the Mustang model an icon of muscle-car cool in the ’68 film “Bullitt.”
Ticket to ride:
If your idea of “old school” predates the machine age, then the University of Arizona Equine Center just might have your ride.
The center is raising money for its four-legged athletes. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, visitors can learn about horse health care, including sports massage and saddle evaluation. Not to mention the chance to see all the pretty horses.
Cashing out on tobacco tax:
Turns out that Arizona’s been exploring the delicate relationship between death and taxes again.
A tobacco tax increase and the advent of the smoking ban led to cigarette sales falling off a cliff.
Absolute numbers were up, by $57 million, but all that and more went to a new fund dedicated to early childhood education.
The 82-cent-per-pack increase was followed by a $17 million decrease in in funds going to other programs dependent on tobacco-tax cash.
Among them is the state’s stop-smoking program, which has seen an increase in demand even as its funding source goes up in smoke.
It must be hard to run a program where success equates with less money.