STARTLING PREDICTIONS FOR THE YEAR AHEAD!A new mayor for Tucson! A new stadium to lure Japanese baseball teams! A bounty on illegal immigrants!
These are but a few of the startling predictions from world-renowned psychic Stella Sabrini, who has gazed into the future at The Skinny's request.
January: Announcing that Tucson needs "leadership that's live, local and late-breaking," recently dismissed KOLD Channel 13 newscaster Randy Garsee announces he'll challenge Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup in the Republican primary. Ward 5 Councilman Steve Leal, saying that "the city can wait no longer," resigns council seat and announces Democratic mayoral bid with 247-part sustainability plan based on 743 stress indicators. Rio Nuevo officials announce they are pursuing Six Flags Over Tucson amusement park for downtown that will require a $300 million incentive package. The Arizona Legislature swings into action with bill replacing state income tax with new fines on captured illegal immigrants, with Rep. Russell Pearce saying that "it's time these illegal immigrants paid their fair share!"; Napolitano vetoes bill. The Arizona Daily Star editorial page gives thorn to people who leave the faucets running while they brush their teeth.
February: Garsee campaign announces support of Six Flags Over Tucson plan; Six Flags officials, citing better economic opportunities, announce they will instead move forward with Six Flags Over Picacho; Rio Nuevo officials concede that it's a setback, but remain confident that Tucsonans will see downtown activity sometime this year. Arizona Legislature passes budget that privatizes state universities, with Rep. Pearce saying that "it's time those ivory tower eggheads learned something about the real world!"; Napolitano vetoes bill. KGUN Channel 9 news anchor Guy Atchley, saying "I'm on Tucson's side," announces he will challenge Leal in Democratic mayoral primary. Arizona Daily Star editorial page gives thorn to people who make left turns from Mountain Avenue onto Grant Road between 4 and 6 p.m.
March: Former council member Leal, citing "new political environment," abandons mayoral bid and asks council members to appoint him to vacant Ward 5 seat. Council appoints KVOA Channel 4 newscaster Tom McNamara instead. Rio Nuevo officials announce plan for downtown tech park that will be home to new Microsoft/IBM/Google joint venture, iGoogleSoft, dedicated to making "blogging software for the 21st century and beyond"; despite the promise of high-paying, high-tech jobs for thousands of Tucsonans, Democrats on City Council balk at the proposal, with Ward 1 Councilmember José Ibarra complaining that "it's not in the spirit of what the voters approved back in 1999." The Arizona Legislature passes a bill placing bounty on illegal immigrants, with Rep. Pearce saying "it's time to reward the Minutemen who are giving their time to protect our borders!"; Napolitano vetoes bill. Arizona Daily Star editorial page gives thorn to people who don't return shopping carts to proper spot in grocery parking lots.
April: Atchley abandons mayoral bid after KGUN reporter Sal Quijada reports that Atchley doesn't live within city limits. "I'd been to too many parties at his foothills mansion," Quijada later says when receiving a Rocky Mountain Emmy for his reporting. With Atchley out of the picture, Leal re-enters mayoral race, saying "the time is now." Rio Nuevo officials announce plan to lure several Japanese baseball teams to new $250 million downtown stadium complex for winter training season, calling the proposal "the home run we've been waiting for." Arizona Legislature passes a bill that eliminates governor's power to veto bills; Napolitano vetoes bill. Arizona Daily Star editorial page gives thorn to litterbugs.
May: Newly installed Ward 5 Councilman McNamara, saying that "experience counts," resigns his Ward 5 City Council seat to seek Democratic nomination for mayor. Leal again drops out of mayoral race and again asks City Council for appointment to Ward 5 seat; council instead appoints KVOA weatherman Jimmy Stewart, who predicts "a new era of cooperation and bright skies, with wind gusts picking up this weekend." Tina Naughton announces her plan to seek GOP nomination for mayor, saying theCity Council isn't doing enough to bring Japanese baseball teams to Tucson. Two days later, the Nippon Ham Fighters announce they are coming to new Rio Nuevo baseball stadium. With a record 82 percent of their bills vetoed, the Arizona Legislature finally passes a budget that includes a minor cut in car-rental taxes; Napolitano signs the bill, ending the session. The Arizona Daily Star editorial page gives thorn to interns who can't figure out that some people prefer skim milk to half and half in their morning coffee.
June: Leal re-enters mayoral race and qualifies for ballot, along with Walkup, Naughton, Garsee and McNamara. Nippon Ham Fighters, unable to persuade any other Japanese teams to travel to Tucson, back out of downtown stadium plan. Arizona Daily Star editorial page gives thorn to Japanese baseball league for rejecting Tucson's overtures.
July: At Democratic mayoral debate, Leal blames slow pace of Rio Nuevo on prior councils that didn't prevent decline of downtown; McNamara praises "the brave men who founded Tucson in the 1700s, including Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Nathaniel Hawthorne." Rio Nuevo officials announce plan to partner with the Pascua Yaqui tribe to build massive casino complex downtown. Arizona Daily Star editorial page gives thorn to TV's summer-rerun season.
August: At Republican mayoral debate, Walkup promises to pave neighborhood streets with casino taxes; Naughton says her family's experience in the plumbing business gives her advantage in dealing with Tucson Water issues; Garsee promises to keep discussion of all City Council topics to under three minutes. Downtown casino plan falls apart when City Attorney Mike Rankin says proposal to allow Yaquis to annex downtown into reservation is illegal. Arizona Daily Star editorial page gives thorn to hot summer days.
September: Leal loses primary to McNamara; Walkup loses primary to Naughton. Rio Nuevo officials announce plans to relocate The Thing museum from Texas Canyon to downtown. Rio Nuevo officials announce that plans to relocate The Thing has met snag because of $62 million cost. Arizona Daily Star editorial page gives thorn to bicyclists who ride on the pedestrian bank of the river park.
October: At mayoral debate, McNamara points out that he regularly trounced Naughton in Neilsen ratings; Naughton replies that she knows more about plumbing. Arizona Daily Star editorial page gives thorn to Hitler.
November: Tom McNamara wins mayor's race, announces he's doubling the Rio Nuevo staff "so we can get this project moving." Rio Nuevo officials announce they have signed deal to open downtown Starbucks outlet. Arizona Daily Star editorial page gives thorn to spam e-mail.
December: Mayor McNamara appoints KVOA crime reporter Lupita Murillo as police chief. Rio Nuevo officials announce Starbucks deal has collapsed. Arizona Daily Star editorial page gives thorn to smart-ass punks.