Tucson Weekly, March 27, 2008

Short-Cut Conundrum

A rancher's efforts to close a corridor across the San Pedro River has prompted Pinal County officials to try to seize the property through eminent domain--an action that has conservation groups upset.

The property in question, near Dudleyville, is a lush area of cottonwoods and willows, a bird-migration corridor and critical habitat for the endangered Southwestern willow flycatcher. It is also a federally held conservation easement with prohibitions against motorized traffic. [Read more]
Paul Schwennesen, with wife, Sarah, and daughter, Katherine.
Tucson Weekly, Jan 24, 2008

A private company has made trash
into a troublesome issue

Most people know "Alice's Restaurant," the tune about a hapless Arlo Guthrie who tries to get rid of a load of garbage to help out a friend (Alice) on Thanksgiving. Because the town dump is closed on the holiday, he throws the garbage over the side of a cliff and ends up getting arrested for littering.

In rural Pinal County, many hauled trash to a transfer station in Catalina, down in Pima County. It took up to three trash bags for $2, allowing  people to avoid paying a monthly fee to a private hauler. [Read more]
Tucson Green Magazine, November, 2008

Doing Well by Doing Good

While no one wants a weak economy, the current dip in the market - and cheaper prices -- makes it a good time to invest, particularly in green or socially responsible stocks and mutual funds.

"When people start investing in responsible companies, it will move the country in a good direction," said Bill Holliday, of Financial Freedom Associates, a financial planning firm that specializes in socially responsible investing. "The more pressure put on companies, the more they'll change." [Read more]
Tucson Green Magazine, May 2008

Gasping for Air

Throughout the history of the desert Southwest, health-seekers -- from 19th century consumptives to modern asthmatics -- have flocked to Arizona for its sunshine and dry climate.  But sprawling growth and traffic threaten to diminish what was once in seemingly endless supply -- clean air.

Ironically, Arizona's long popularity as a health destination has created a population more vulnerable to lung disease.  The state is among the top 15 for asthma overall, said Cori Daines, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics, Arizona Respiratory Center at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

In a 25-year study of 1,500 children in Tucson, the center has consistently found asthma in 12 to 15 percent, almost twice the national average of 8.9 percent. [Read more]
Tucson Green Magazine, June 2008

Green Wedding

Getting married during Earth Week may not be entirely original, but sending wedding guests home with hand-raised chinaberry saplings may well be a first.

Kelly Huxtable, 30, let her guests know ahead of time that her April 27 wedding to long-time sweetheart Jason Caruso, 36, would have a green theme.

And she meant it, right down to the Energy Star-certified curly compact fluorescent light bulbs, each with a fact sheet about carbon emission savings, at every place setting. [Read more]
Tucson Green Magazine, January 2008

Water in the Desert

The fawn-colored kangaroo rat of Southeastern Arizona can exist for months without water.  It does so by creating its own moisture when it digests food. To clean itself, it shuns water, wallowing instead in dry sand.

If only Tucsonans could do the same.

The issue of water scarcity in the desert came to the forefront again this fall in the form of an acrimonious debate over Proposition 200, former state lawmaker John Kromoko's now-failed ballot measure, which for one thing, would have cut off new water connections when growth exceeded water supply. Environmental groups were split on whether to support the proposition and its grab-bag of water-related policies. [Read more]

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