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Since about half of this week's issue was written by Dave Devine, it's time to remind you who the heck this guy is.

Clutching a freshly-printed bachelor's degree in landscape architecture from the University of Wisconsin, he volunteered for the Peace Corps and spent 1971-73 in Iran. That stint provided Devine enough insight to produce our "Persian Mosaic" feature (January 25).

Devine found his way to the University of Arizona, where he obtained a master's in urban planning in 1975. He worked on redevelopment projects in several Arizona towns until 1989, when then-City Councilmember Molly McKasson hired him as an aide.

That stint in city bureaucracy lasted until 1995, when Devine went freelance. That's the year he started writing for the Tucson Weekly, among other publications. Since then his journalism has focused largely on the inner workings of city government, as well as on neighborhood issues. Devine knows that latter topic from the inside; he ran the West University Neighborhood Association through the tumultuous late '80s.

Devine does historical research for pleasure; results that have appeared in these pages over the past year include a look at South Tucson's struggle for incorporation in the '30s, and reminiscences by old-timers of Tucson Christmases past.

And although he doesn't use e-mail and writes stories with an antiquated word-processing program, Devine's new book about Iran is about to be published by an Internet company. Perhaps he's not such a serious Luddite after all.

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