Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Speak well of irreplaceable Tucson



“When this you see, remember me; and bear me in your mind.

Let all the world say what they may; speak of me as you find.”

- Brian Jones

There will come a day when our grandchildren will ask us if there really was another daily newspaper in Tucson. The Citizen, like many other icons from our past, might soon be relegated to things that once were.

The children of Tucson can recall an era filled with magical characters such as Jack “Dr. Scar” Jacobson of Chiller Theater, “Uncle” Bob Love and his after-school show and Hal Gras of the Desert Museum.

We had quirky yet effective commercials such as furniture store owner Austin Agron breaking lamps while telling us, “That’s a ganga!”

Jay Taylor gave us the humorous “aw mama” Chevrolet spots, and, even though I wasn’t old enough to know why, I supposed if you called Wally immediately you could get an estimate free.

I remember all these things so clearly because Tucson and its so-called business leaders have a terrible record of filling voids left behind. Once something is gone, it’s gone forever.

There are no risk-takers. What we get now is bland and bland with no local talent and no local ideas.

For me, the Citizen is local. I judge a paper by the coverage it gives to local high school sports and to local news.

When I want national news I can get it from many sources. But there will be a recognizable void in local coverage once the Citizen is gone.

Opinions written by people actually trying to live in Tucson, rather than by those who think they control our community, is another characteristic that will be missed once this paper is gone.

But, beyond the newspaper are people who have families to support. The loss of any business solely in the name of preserving higher profits hurts us all, and the bills are passed on to the taxpayers.

I have known some of the Citizen staff for almost 20 years. As a teacher who deals with people for a living, I feel very uneasy in this uncertain atmosphere – especially when I am powerless to help.

Many leaders in education and business have taken the approach that people such as me are unable to see the forest for the trees. I am glad I can see the trees, because without them there would be no forest – something they refuse to grasp.

This economic crisis has also hit our school districts and my school directly. While I am watching my journalism friends live in uncertain times, I am also being forced to say goodbye to my teaching colleagues whose only crime is being hired last.

Donna, Kerry, Emily, Donna, Ellen, Melisa and Ashlee have all served your children at Rio Vista at a high standard – each recipients of the Federal Teacher Incentive Fund given to teachers who have performed well.

They were not given bonuses paid out of bailout money like failed executives. No, they earned them. They have also suffered from having these incentive funds taxed at almost 50 percent because teachers have been lumped together with failed executives.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ office has been unresponsive to this taxing travesty so far, but who can blame her when education has not been a priority in Arizona at any level?

Many other people have been affected by our economy. The pending loss of the Citizen is but one glaring example of what can happen to a town like Tucson in times such as these.

It is up to all of us to remember them well and speak of them as you found them because they will not be replaced – not in a place like Tucson.

Andy Morales was born in Tucson, attended high school in suburban Washington, D.C., received a master’s degree in special education from the University of Arizona and has been teaching in Amphitheater for 20 years. E-mail: amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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