Do you like to complain about stuff that never seems to get done? There's an app for that.
The Tucson area recently became part of SeeClickFix.com, a site that catalogs urban municipal blights (road hazards, graffiti, downed trees, etc.) and lets the people in charge know that you're mad as hell, and you aren't going to drive over that pothole anymore.
Here's how it works: If you see something you want fixed, you can plot its position on a Google Map on the SeeClickFix Web site. A message will then be sent to city officials, citizens' groups or even media sources with the details of the problem. You can also use an iPhone, BlackBerry or other smart phone to take a picture and tell the world what you want fixed.
What's more, you can even form your own watch area, and warn your neighbors about specific unsightly things within that given area. Residents in the Elephant Head area near Interstate 19 and Arivaca Road have already set up their own watch area.
SeeClickFix has gotten recent attention from national media outlets like The New York Times and National Public Radio, and if anecdotal evidence is to be believed, the Citizen Pothole Patrol is working.
We decided to put SeeClickFix to the test: We found a pothole near our offices measuring 2 feet by 8 inches. It's not an especially big one, but it you're driving west in the center lane along Valencia Road near County Club Road, you'll know it when you feel it. Each day, we'll drive over the offending gash to see if City Hall has done anything about it yet.
Let's complain our way to cleanliness, Tucson.
THE WEEK ON THE RANGE
On the political beat, we brought you the news that Congressman Raúl Grijalva was leaning toward supporting the Senate health-care bill, despite its lack of a public option; captured highlights in the GOP primary race between Sen. John McCain and challenger J.D. Hayworth, as well as Arizona's GOP gubernatorial primary; explored whether banning earmarks would have much of an impact on federal spending; and shared the news that Access Tucson would be extending its scheduled one-month closure through March 23, because the City Council continued to delay a decision on the future of the public-access facility.
On the nightlife front, we linked to the new booze blog launched by Aaron DeFeo, bar manager at Hotel Congress and Maynards Market and Kitchen; and previewed performances by George Thorogood at the Rialto Theatre and Harlem at Club Congress.
In Artistic Range, we highlighted work by David F. Brown at Temple Gallery, Jack Dykinga at Etherton Gallery, Lisa Kanouse at Candelabra, and others. We also previewed the opening-night celebration at the new Museum of Contemporary Art location.
On the science beat, we revealed how the UA is now in the hunt for the secrets behind the dark energy that permeates the cosmos; promoted the new Arizona Public Media documentary on the findings of the Phoenix Mars Lander; and highlighted the Tuesday night Mind and Brain lecture series that's drawing packed houses to UA's Centennial Hall.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
"Birthers are just nuts. 'The truth will set you free?' is a great saying. However, birthers continue to refuse to look at the truth—both in the authenticity of a Hawaiian birth certificate, and the facts that they are attempting to argue away. The truth is always consistent, but this can't be said about the birfer silliness."
—TucsonWeekly.com user "AnotherBird," in response to The Range post "McCain: Hayworth Is a Nut!" (Feb. 24) which discussed McCain's video about challenger J.D. Hayworth's ties to the Obama citizenship-conspiracy movement.
BEST OF WWW
If you've taken a drive downtown or by the Bookmans on Grant Road and Campbell Avenue, you might have noticed some major changes to some walls. Gone are the generic east-side brick exterior of the Rialto Theatre, and the dragon-and-wizard mural at Bookmans. Both walls now display frequently changing murals by artist Joe Pagac, promoting concerts at the Rialto. This week's video shows Pagac in action as he paints (he likes to finish each one within a day) a mural focusing on the upcoming Patty Griffin show.