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Re: “The Foilies 2019

You missed the one closer to home -- the MOU-in-progress that will allow the Arizona Dept. of Transportation to self-monitor all environmental regulation required by the National Environmental Protection Act. It's call a "NEPA Assignment" and the comment period just closed -- with 29 opposed, 7 in favor and one "yes, but...." What this means specifically for Tucson and Pima County is that both an Avra Valley Interstate 11and it's companion Sonoran Corridor -- both in the final stages of Tier 1 Environmental Impact Studies, will have no federal supervision for the Tier 2 part, where 2000' corridors are narrowed down to 400' highways, with interchanges, etc. It's putting the fox in charge of the chicken coop, but with clean water, clean air, noise, wildlife, and safe communities on the firing line.

Not to mention enriching certain real estate speculators who are big-time political campaign contributors. The Sonoran Corridor will, as ADOT has set it out, give Don Diamond's planned 3200 acre Swan Southlands/Verano development a free access highway. At our expense.

I am kind of surprised that this was left out since information was sent to the Weakly's editor along with the rest of the local media who chose to ignore it -- the Pima County Establishment wants I-11 and the Sonoran Corridor, the better to -- as their Business Case argues -- attract US companies back from China to... Mexico, where wages are lower, and to encourage R&D in the US with manufacture and assembly in... Mexico. But the editor is probably too busy thinking up his next hit piece on Supervisor Miller and her staff to deal with this stuff. There was a time when the Weakly actually cared about our communities and our people -- maybe too much "green stuff"...?

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by AVL on 03/14/2019 at 7:32 AM

Re: “The Skinny

Please send the royalty check to Democracy Now! But since you've opened the Weakly's comments so widely, here's my last ADI article, so readers can judge for themselves rather than just get innuendo and gossip:

Pima County Administrator (and Avra Valley I-11 champion) Charles Huckelberry has proposed to the Pima County Board of Supervisors that property taxes from the General Fund be used for priority road repairs in the next budget. He says that most repairs will not be in the cities, but in rural Pima County. Much of the proposed $53+ million would go to roads designated as recreational gateways for tourists.

Actual resident city-dwellers, according to news reports, are not happy with paying out for projects that do not directly benefit them. For working folks who live in double-wides out in the boonies because they couldnt afford the city, that might sound okay, but a review of the plans shows little to nothing for them either. Huckelberry states: No local roads within the area of Pima County would qualify unless identified as a recreational gateway. (Emphasis added.) Most of the proposed seals and overlays seem to be in more upscale East and North suburban areas.

1) No dirt roads will be on the list ever. I live in Picture Rocks, where most roads are dirt.

2) Most of Picture Rocks Road a main way to jobs, shopping, town, I-10, etc. gets a Do Nothing call. This is also the road many tourists take to visit Saguaro National Park, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Old Tucson and other area attractions. That seems a flaw in Huckelberrys Help the Tourists argument. Anti-I-11 activists suspect retaliation for the local residents strong and vocal campaign to keep the Huckelberry Highway from destroying communities, jobs and wildlife. The County Administrator has long-championed an Avra Valley I-11 in opposition to a BOS resolution opposing it.

3.West Rudasill Road, from Sandario to Tula, is not on the list. Local residents have taken to filling in the gaping pot holes themselves.

4.Little Tula Road, between Picture Rocks and Rudasill Roads springs big potholes with every rain and is repaired almost monthly is not on the list either. Tula Road is a bit of a shortcut for those who live in the south part of our 10,000 person community heading for Picture Rocks Road, going over the hill to work and shop. But I forgot, this is a take from the taxpayers to help the tourists proposal.

See the memo and list (with his recommendations in the right-side column), at: http://webcms.pima.gov/UserFiles/Servers/S….

According to the Stars Joe Ferguson in a February 5 story, Board of Supervisors Chair Richard Elias and District 3 Supervisor Sharon Bronson, with a large rural constituency, have questions and are not yet backing the plan. Bronson said she is feeling a lot of heat from her many rural constituents.

Supervisor Steve Christy, on the other hand, likes the Huckelberry plan. The position of Supervisor Ramon Valadez is not mentioned. District 1 Supervisor Ally Miller is not mentioned either, but she has offered an Alternate Budget for the present one that could redirect over $31 million in the current budget to road repairs. Her plan can be seen at: https://nebula.wsimg.com/4b4261204719c9e31….

4 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by AVL on 02/09/2019 at 7:40 AM

Re: “The Skinny

Gosh -- I had forgotten about that Desert Times article, and I hope your readers go to it and read what I said about responsible community journalism. And I left out David Rupkalvis in my count of editors, but I don't think he ever did the Weakly. As far as performing a rap, sorry, but age (81) and infirmity (incurable cancer, chemo-for-life, and heart disease) have put some limits on me -- and aren't you glad, whoever you are.

2 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by AVL on 02/08/2019 at 5:23 PM

Re: “The Skinny

Dear She'sGottaGo -- I apologize. I didn't mean to confuse you with the facts. Have a nice day.

6 likes, 69 dislikes
Posted by AVL on 02/08/2019 at 9:18 AM

Re: “The Skinny

Dear Editor, and you are Editor Number 4 in the last seven years, but who's counting?

Your vendetta against the one supervisor who dares to dissent from Pima County's crony politics is getting really old, and your continuing attacks on a staff member -- which you began just days after her husband died -- really amount to gossip, rumor-mongering and bullying. Yet you keep it up while singing the praises of the Pima Establishment. No depth, not even explanations for many of your fanciful assertions -- that is not "The Skinny" as it used to be. That is not even close to responsible journalism.

For instance, nothing in the Weakly or your gossip column about the County Administrator's latest "road repair" scheme -- using property taxes of residents to fix roads for tourists.
You have to go to that "online nonsense factory" to get the facts, and facts are what journalism is supposed to be about. But you, and hopefully your remaining readers, can check it out for yourselves:


Maybe it's all the marijuana news crowding reality out as the paper shrinks.

11 likes, 69 dislikes
Posted by AVL on 02/07/2019 at 10:35 AM

Re: “The Skinny

Speaking of rumors, I heard from a talking pack rat that the Weakly's editor is a beneficiary in Chuck Huckelberry's will. And how many editors has the Weakly burned through in the last seven years?

11 likes, 70 dislikes
Posted by AVL on 02/07/2019 at 7:23 AM

Re: “On the Road Again

You missed The Big One -- the decision on a "preferred alternative" route for Interstate 11, an new Avra Valley highway or improving I-10, due from ADOT any day now:

PRO: Without a new multi-billion-dollar I-11 highway, by the year 2040 travel time between Tucson and Nogales will increase as much as two (2) minutes. (Source: Presentation by Arizona Dept. of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration (ADOT/FHWA) I-11 Study Manager Jay Van Echo at Citizens for Picture Rocks meeting, 8/21/18).

CON: Improving I-10 instead of building a new highway through the Avra Valley would cost billions less taxpayer dollars. (Source: Arizona Dept. of Transportation State Engineer Jennifer Toth at State Transportation Board meeting in Tucson, December, 2008.)

PRO: Nearshoring: Building I-11 will attract American companies from China to Mexico where wages are now lower than in China. (Source: ADOT/FHWA Purpose and Need Memorandum, 2/28/17.)

CON: A new highway through the Avra Valley would bring air, noise and light pollution to tens of thousands of people. One eighth of Avra Valley residents are retirees, slightly less than 1/8 are military veterans, and 1/4 are under the age of 18. Four-fifths of the housing is owner-occupied. Dozens of families would be evicted. A new Valley Fever Corridor, a disease which now kills about 160 people a year, would be opened up. (Sources: Common sense! See also comments from the Pima Natural Resource Conservation District in Agency and Public Information Meetings, Appendix C; Public comments about impacted families by the Pima County Administrator. Valley Fever Corridor from UA News, 10/13/15).

PRO: Integrative Manufacturing: I-11 will facilitate research and development in Nevada and Arizona, with manufacture and assembly in Mexico. (Source: ADOT/FHWA Purpose and Need Memorandum, 2/28/17.)

CON: A new highway through the Avra Valley would result in vehicle emissions settling in Tucson Waters Avra Valley CAP settling ponds, potentially threatening the aquifer. Tucson would also lose jobs, businesses and tax revenue from the I-10 corridor. (Source: City of Tucson comments in ADOT/FHWA Scoping Summary Report, Appendix D, 1/25/17.)

PRO: I-11 will facilitate the shift of shipping and jobs from U.S. West Coast ports to the Mexican Port of Guaymas. (Source: ADOT/FHWA Purpose and Need Memorandum, 2/28/17.)

CON: Tourism would be negatively impacted at Saguaro National Park, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson Mountain Park, Ironwood Forest National Monument, Kitt Peak Observatory, Old Tucson. (Source: Pima Natural Resource Conservation District in Agency and Public Information Meetings, Appendix C.)

PRO: I-11 will enrich real estate speculators. (Source: Avra Valley Coalition research based on Assessor records.)

CON: Wildlife would be threatened and existing linkages imperiled to the point where some species would face extinction. (Source: Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection, in Appendix H, Agency and Public Information Meeting Summary Report, 11/30/17.)

PRO: I-11 will provide a taxpayer-funded free access highway to a planned private development: What is now called the Sonoran Corridor (rejected in 2015 bond election) was originally shown on maps prepared by Pima County as part of I-11 to link I-19 and I-10. Instead of a straight east-west route, it drops south to provide a free access highway for Diamond Ventures planned Swan Southlands development. (Source: I-11 map proposed by Pima County Administrator & ADOT Sonoran Corridor alternatives).

CON: With over 3000 public comments in 2017, 89 percent opposed I-11 or any Avra Valley I-11 route, with only of one percent favoring it. ADOT/FHWA convened two Stakeholders Engagement Groups in early 2018, by invitation only, to try to bring the two sides together. The two groups merged as the I-11 Joint Stakeholder Community Planning Group, calling for I-10 improvements and declaring that A bypass through Avra Valley is not acceptable. (8/3/18)

DONT BE CONNED BY THE PROS: The I-11 Study Team is expected to announce its choice between an Avra Valley route, improving the existing I-10 corridor, or the rarely-used No Build option, by the end of 2018, or beginning of 2019.

Public meetings and comment periods will follow early in 2019 in Tucson and Marana. The planners have committed, for the first time, to allow open discussion and questions at the public meetings. While construction may be years away, choices made NOW will be set in stone.

Pima County Board of Supervisors Resolution 2007-343 opposes the construction of any new highways in or around the County that have the stated purpose of bypassing the existing Interstate 10 as it is believed that the environmental, historic, archaeological and urban form impacts could not be adequately mitigated.



ON RECORD OPPOSING I-11 IN THE AVRA VALLEY: Citizens for Picture Rocks; City of Tucson; Pima Natural Resource Conservation District; Garcia Strip Community of the Toak District; San Xavier District; and Schuk District, Tohono Oodham Nation; National Park Service; Friends of Saguaro National Park; Friends of Ironwood Forest; Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection; Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum; Tucson Audubon Society; Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation; I-11 Community Planning Group (several of the above plus Menlo Park Neighborhood Association, National Parks Conservation Association, Erickson Terrascape, Drachman Institute, and Statistical Research); Sierra Club; Friends of Tucson Mountain Park; Sky Island Alliance; Gates Pass Area Neighborhood Association; Congressman Raul Grijalva; State Senator Steve Farley; L.D. 11 State Senator Steve Smith & State Senator-elect Vince Leach, Rep. Mark Finchem & Representative-elect Bret Roberts (Republicans) ; LD 11Democrat State Rep. candidates Hollace Lyon & Ralph Atchue; Pima County Board of Supervisors Resolution 2007-343; Rancho del Conejo Community Water Co-op (partial list, and growing).

Published by the Avra Valley Coalition, an informal, unaffiliated and non-partisan collection of individuals and groups opposed to I-11 in the Avra Valley. Please make copies and help spread the word! To be added to our e-mail list, which is not shared, contact avravalleycoalition@gmail.com.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by AVL on 01/03/2019 at 11:10 AM

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