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Archives for June 2015

Water wars and woes

Governor Ducey recently said Arizona excelled at water conservation. It is true south of the Gila. As the Salt River Project routinely floods lawns via canals by the acre-foot, it’s questionable whether it is true of the state as a whole. Tucson was certainly a water conservation pioneer. It was accomplished by increasing water rates. This was not a penny-ante increase. It led to the great dearth of Tucson lawns and the use of recycled water in some golf courses and playgrounds. It was an enormous increase. And it elicited an enormous response. This is a blog post from four years ago that celebrated the four council members who voted to increase rates and thereby were booted from office or left for acting responsibly.


Tucson’s recall election of January 1977 had all the sense and feel of a mob lynching rather than an exercise in representative democracy.

Three members of the city council were trounced and booted from office. They were guilty only of  [Read more…]

Busy, busy

Arizona’s governor sure is busy.

He travels breathlessly in a bus all over the state.

He sticks his considerable nose in all manner of state business.

He’s made a big deal proposing to add a big load of money to school finance by sucking up state land money and then to taking it away a few years later.

He’s called state leaders to a summit in Glendale. Not sure for what, but it doesn’t matter.

This is not what political conservatives do. Conservatives sit on their hands. They don’t do didley. This is because they know govmint is and evil, bad thing. The more you do to govmint, the worse it gets.When you’re a conservative in the mold of the Koch brothers (that’s Ducey for sure), you sit back let the budget get out of control and wait until the beast consumes itself.

Ducey hasn’t met a problem — real or imagined — that didn’t want to stomp on, roll around and drown in. He’s the good humor man on steroids, meth and No Doz. This is what liberals do.

If it weren’t for all that conservative Who-Shot-John that issues forth from his mouth, you’d swear this guy’s a liberal. Just waiting for him to come out of the closet.

Grocery Store Mysteries

I regularly shop most grocery stores — Fry’s (Kroger’s), Basha’s, Albertson’s, Safeway, Sprouts and Trader Joe’s. I do not spend a lot of time looking. But I go often, three or four times a week, sometimes just to fetch one or two items. I rarely venture to Whole Foods because it requires that you show a gold brick at the entrance to prove you can pay. And I am fresh out.

Today was one of the peculiar and mysterious pricing adventures. Albertson’s is selling a half-gallon of whole milk for $1.89. A gallon of moo juice is priced at $1.99. Which do you suppose I chose? I have no idea if I can drink that much before the consume-by date, especially since I gave up chocolate-chip cookies.

A couple weeks ago, I was in Sprouts because it advertised in the Wednesday newspaper insert strawberries for $.88 a lb. As is its wont, Sprouts had a big display at the entrance. Right next to the pound boxes was a three-pound box priced at $4.99. Now I might understand this if the three-pound boxes were far away from the 88-cent display. But they were right next to each other. I find this rather mysterious. The three-pound box might have been organic, but I don’t remember a sign saying so. I can only wonder about those shoppers who bought the three-pound box, thinking it was a ganga.

Occasionally, I also shop Costco’s grocery, but buy only a few things. Bulk doesn’t work well when shopping for two. Once in a while I also prowl Walmart grocery, which surprisingly has a lot of items you can’t get anywhere else. Conversely, it also doesn’t have a lot of stuff you can find at the other stores.

At the moment, I am in search one of my favorite breads, admittedly a self-indulgent. Let me know if you run across it — the Orowheat Winter wheat oaf. It is very expensive. For years, Basha’s used to carry it, but no longer. A loaf cost about four and a half Drachma, which is about a buck more than the others. It is also a small slice. Nonetheless, it is full of good stuff, as you can see here. Meanwhile, if you fancy a relatively low-carb, high fiber and reasonably priced bread, Trader Joes has a high fiber loaf with 6 grams of fiber and 17 grams of carbs, a net of 11 carbs. The fiber content is twice most breads and often three times.

A good while back I became enamored of Safeway’s mini bear claws. I would pick up package of (I think) a half dozen at the Sunrise and Swan store.  I was surprised when I went to the Safeway at Grant and Craycroft and found nary a mini bear claw. When I asked why no sainted (Santa) claws, I was told that Safeway has two tiers of stores. There are those in the affluent neighborhoods and those in the not-so-affluent. The tip-off, I suppose, is that the Sunrise store has a Starbucks. So does the Basha’s at Camp Lowell and Swan. It also has a couple comfy over-stuffed leather chairs and sofa and a lunch counter, which you won’t find many in most stories that I know about. There’s also a Starbucks at the Albertson’s on Silverbell on the west side.