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Water stations serve desert trekkers & mosquitoes

Citizen Staff Writer

Editor’s Note: Judy Carlock’s review of the week’s news comes with a healthy dose of skepticism – spiced with a dash of cynicism.

I don’t want 200 people dying in my backyard every year, no matter what their immigration status.

If filling a few cattle troughs with water can save lives, I say do it. Especially since the county calculates it’s cheaper to provide desert water stations than to haul corpses out of the desert.

Two questions, though, for Pima County, which voted to approve the funds this week:

• Don’t you guys do a budget in the spring that’s supposed to take care of this stuff?

• And why do you want to give those poor people mosquito-borne West Nile disease?

The county does tell us to drain standing water. I did. Those little bloodsuckers are still swarming.

ABOUT THAT BORDER: Citizen columnist Anne Denogean pointed out Friday that our to presidential candidates haven’t had much to say about immigration.

Why should they? It brings out a lot of ugly emotions. At this point, John McCain and Barack Obama have no reason to bring up anything divisive.

McCain had my admiration two years ago when he clearly wanted realistic immigration reform more than he wanted to be president.

Now both candidates ignore it as a campaign issue. I don’t figure they’ll bring it up after the election, either.

They both leave southern Arizona to cope as well is it can. The view is different from Washington, D.C.

LOTTO LOVE: Do hard economic times make people smarter?

Maybe, given plummeting lottery revenues that are putting maintenance at the University of Arizona at risk.

Tight paychecks may be sharpening math skills of Arizona consumers: Fewer are playing a game they can’t win.

Then again, it’s also possible that lawmakers just want an excuse to stick it to state universities. Them fellas don’t cotton much to book learnin’.

MIXED MESSAGE: I’ve been learning more about Tucson Unified School District lately, due to my quest to become a certified high school teacher.

Brand-new Superintendent Elizabeth Celania-Fagen is bound to bring new energy to the sprawling district, which espouses excellence but often settles for average.

Fagen, at just 34, seems committed to raising that bar, through “reculturing” – building on strengths, steadily and realistically.

But meanwhile, this giant bureaucracy, which affects the lives of 60,000 students directly and many others, including parents and teachers, has difficulty recruiting school board candidates to set the policies the superintendent is supposed to follow.

There’s good stuff happening in TUSD schools. I hope she’s the leader who can pull the pieces together.

RUSH TO JUDGMENT: The story of an 18-year-old Tucsonan, a good kid who apparently died as a result of binge drinking at college, has many online comments condemning his intelligence, blaming parents for dumb partying choices and in general pointing the blame at Johnny Smith.

Of course this young man made bad choices. But how many other of us did that at 18?

Mercy seemed called for here, not a round of condemnation.

Plenty of people were kind and thoughtful in their comments.

Thanks for that.

People make mistakes, sometimes fatal ones. Personal responsibility matters.

But so does compassion, respect and sorrow.

Bye, Johnny.

We hardly knew ye.

Contact Judy Carlock at 573-4608 or at jcarlock@tucsoncitizen.com. For more on these stories, go to www.tucsoncitizen.com.



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