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Friday’s Top 10 news digs

Every morning I will post my top 10 stories I’m digging that day with a little commentary to go with each. Here’s today’s list:

1. Pixar moves ‘Up’ with its 10th movie – USA Today – Disney might own Pixar after buying the company for $7.4 billion in 2006. But when it comes to brand loyalty among family moviegoers, Pixar is the new Disney.

Is it weird for a middle-aged man to be excited about going to see a “kiddie” movie? Pixar rocks.

2. 100 years at the Brickyard – USA Today – Conceived by four local businessmen as a venue for the city’s competing automakers to test their mettle (and metal) as the machine grew in stature, the Brickyard quickly evolved into a drawing board in the development of cars, racing and safety.

They still have this race? I used to love open wheel racing back when A.J. Foyt was wheel-to-wheel with Rick Myers and Al Unser in hot pursuit. Now, it’s all about Danica Patrick’s underwear ads and a bunch of foreign guys from Formula 1. Plus, all racing, including NASCAR, has become go really fast, crash. Go really slow under caution. Go really fast again, crash. Go really slow under caution. Go really fast again … Blech.

3. Grief and honor at Arlington – USA Today – Each day, as I walk among the headstones lining these rolling hills, I’m mindful that more than 300,000 veterans and their dependents are buried here.

One of the most emotional days of my life was an afternoon I spent at Arlington. When my father died a few years ago, he was buried at the military cemetery in Phoenix. He spent nine years in the Air Force, 1946-1955, and was medically retired after an auto accident. Nevertheless, he raised a military family. I spent five years in the Army, two active, three reserve. He had Alzheimer’s and the last year of his life he was only capable of staring at the ceiling and moaning or whistling, strangely. So when he died, I was more relieived than sad. I’d said my goodbyes long before his death. At the various funeral events, I didn’t shed any tears. But at the graveside, when the Air Force honor guard leaned over and gently offered the American flag to my mother, whispering to her “On behalf of a grateful nation” I lost it. When you’re out grilling your hot dogs or whatever Monday, be sure to take a moment and remember what Memorial Day is really all about.

4. 6 money fixes you should consider now – Arizona Republic – The economy has been under so much strain lately that it pays to know where you stand financially and devise a plan to solve your money problems.

My wife and I started doing almost all of these last year, the most important completely eliminating our credit card debt. But we’re a consumer economy and reduced consumer spending is part of what’s causing the economic crisis. But after just surviving layoff by a whisker, I’m in no rush to start spending again.

5. Leinart shows signs of growth on, off the field – Arizona Republic – He is somewhat chiseled now, hardened by a new commitment to the weight room and life in the NFL. He takes pride in being the second-team quarterback.

If he keeps throwing more interceptions than touchdowns, he’ll always be the second-team quarterback.

6. Detention facility near Sahuarita is ruled out – Arizona Daily Star – Now, the district will work with the Tohono O’odham Nation to build the facility on tribal land near South Sandario Road and West Ajo Way, said district Chairman Austin Nuñez.

Nimbys win again. I wonder what the folks over at Sandario and Ajo think?

7. AZ Senate bill would let offenders skip traffic school – Arizona Daily Star – A provision buried in the package of bills for the 2010 budget would let errant motorists essentially buy their way out of trouble. They could pay a flat fee of $282 and walk away, with no ticket, no record — and no time lost.

They need to hurry up and pass this bill, get it signed by Brewer and make it retroactive so I don’t have to go to traffic school next Saturday.

8. Legislation would replace vouchers with tax credits – Arizona Daily Star – Legislation introduced in both the House and the Senate would allow corporations and insurance companies to divert up to $5 million a year from what they owe in taxes and give it instead to organizations that help certain students pay the cost of attending private or parochial schools.

Same stink, different pig.

9. Sources: FBI asking questions on Arpaio – Arizona Republic – Five public officials involved in ongoing disputes with the Sheriff’s Office confirmed federal agents asked them questions that seem to focus on one theme: possible misuse of power by Arpaio and other sheriff’s representatives, perhaps related to the ongoing disputes between the sheriff, county supervisors and top county administrators.

Arpaio’s toast.

10. State should heed bulletin from Calif. – Arizona Republic – Nevertheless, the message from California seems to be that, while voters don’t like budget cuts and will complain bitterly about them, they like the probable alternatives even less.

Don’t listen to California. To argue that because California voters rejected a tax increase to fix their state budget, then Arizona voters will do the same is fallacious. We have no idea what Arizona voters will do if offered the opportunity to chose paying more taxes to preserve education funding and whatnot. The real motive here is a fear that Arizona voters will pass a tax increase. Don’t be afraid of voters, let them decide. This is a democracy, after all.

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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