Last month, in a blast of editorial indignation over Proposition 200 and the specter of Tucson Water serving up toilet-to-tap drinking water, the Arizona Daily Star displayed a curious case of tunnel vision:
"The authors of Proposition 200 would like us to believe that the city has plans to recycle the water we flush down our toilets and deliver it to our homes as potable water supply." What this "blatant attempt to scare voters" ignores, the editorial continued, is that state law already prohibits toilet-to-tap as a source of public drinking water. [Read more]
ORACLE, Ariz. -- A neglected swath of dry, pale straw and dirt, once a playing field for the children of Oracle, lies bare except for a dirty orange sign, "County Property Keep Out." The 3-acre parcel is at the unlikely center of a drama of broken promises and fears that developer-driven "progress" might destroy the beauty and rural character of this mountain town.
The property, known as Wood Field, was given to the children of Oracle on Armistice Day (Nov. 11), in 1928 by Elizabeth Lambert Wood. Wood, a philanthropist whose 1956 book "Arizona Hoof Trails" tells the history of Oracle, arrived here in 1902 with her physician husband in hopes that the high desert air and sunshine might cure his lung ailment. [Read more]
While Asarco workers fight for a new contract, parent company Grupo Mexico turns millions in profits
This remote stretch of Pinal County is just a few miles north and worlds away from Tucson's bustling shopping centers and traffic jams. All that is about to change.
Tucson attorney Jesus Romo is well acquainted with Grupo Mexico, the notoriously anti-union Mexican conglomerate and parent of Asarco, whose 1,500 workers are on strike. In 1999, Romo represented striking mineworkers in Cananea, Mexico, at a mine owned by a Grupo Mexico unit, Minera Mexico. In retaliation, the company shut down the community's electricity and water. [Read more]
Oracle interests, including Biosphere 2, square off over their community's governmental future
For years, the community of Oracle has been a scrappy opponent of cookie-cutter subdivisions, with their gravel lawns and pink tile roofs. Now, with growth marching relentlessly north from Tucson, some residents view incorporation into a city or town as their last chance to avoid being swallowed up by development, and have started an incorporation petition drive.
ORACLE, Ariz. - The Internet buzz went something like this: The fast-food giant McDonald's had a plan to set up recycling stations at each of its restaurants to convert used cooking grease into biodiesel, a nontoxic, biodegradable and renewable fuel.
"It turned out to be an April Fool's joke," said Megan Hartman. "But maybe that day will come."
The 29-year-old Maine native is so convinced of the environmental benefits of biodiesel, she plans to open a tank site in tiny Oracle to offer the fuel as a clean burning replacement for sooty, smelly petrodiesel. [Read more]
ORACLE - Recycled fryer grease as clean burning fuel isn't exactly a household notion, but if Megan Hartman has anything to say about it, it's only a matter of time.
The 30-year-old Maine native opened her first bright blue fuel station Aug. 10 in this mountain town near Tucson, where she hopes to provide a green alternative to smelly, black-soot belching diesel cars and trucks.
"It's not the solution to the world's problems, but it's a simple decision that makes a difference - to get out from under the thumb of big petroleum and all the negative impacts it has on our society," she said. "And it's something you can do right now." [Read more]
When Rosanna Ringer first breastfed her baby in public, "my husband was having a cow - he thought I was exposing myself," said the Florence mother of three.
That was 22 years ago. Remarkably, times haven't changed much.
"There can be a problem with women breastfeeding at work, or the husband feels excluded because he wants to give the baby a bottle, or her mother-in-law thinks formula is better - women get a lot of conflicting advice," said Ringer, a registered dietician, who directs Pinal County's 11 WIC clinics. WIC is the federal government's Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children that serves low-income families. [Read more]
ORACLE - Since the 1890s, rancher Patricia Haydon's family has eked out a living next to Black Mountain, in an isolated corridor of desert scrub, sand and cactus, without gas, electric or phone lines - or a reliable source of water.
This remote stretch of Pinal County is just a few miles north and worlds away from Tucson's bustling shopping centers and traffic jams. All that is about to change. [Read more]
Isn't it ironic: Natural materials - clay, earth, rock - used for generations before the plastics revolution of the last century are now making a comeback as "green.'' Lucky for us they are, as I found out when I decided to redo my home in an eco-friendly fashion. Improving your living space and going green at the same time can be as easy as painting a room with nontoxic clay paint or upgrading with any number of natural and recycled materials now available. The feel-good factor is unmatched and you won't (necessarily) break the bank. [Read more]
An emerging body of research on how people cope with adversity suggests that those who deal most effectively with life's problems share certain traits, perhaps even subconscious strategies. [Read more]
The Valley View Cemetery sits in the shadow of a red mountain -- a towering leach heap that stands as the only monument to a century of miners who died wresting ore from the unyielding earth. [Read more]
Thumb sucking is as common in infancy as diaper rash. And usually it's no more than just a passing phase. In fact, the majority of children who suck their thumbs stop on their own by about four years of age. [Read more]
The smell of burnt milk hovers in the air. A wall of photos captures smiling employees posing with apple-cheeked infants. It seems somehow right that a place devoted to baby formula would be selected as a haven for working mothers. The place is Casa Grande's Ross Products Division, a facility of Abbott Laboratories, named last week as one of America's 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers by Working Mother magazine. [Read more]
Sandy Kernein, a 27-year-old Illinois homemaker, was sampling her mother's cake iceing when she first noticed she coundn't taste its sweetness, "It tased just like clay," she says, "I watched everybody else enjoying the cake and thought, oh, they're just being nice." [Read more]