Good-bye BfA. Hello, The Range.

by David Safier I just put up my first introductory post on The Range, which means this is my last piece at BfA after 6 years and 3,000-some posts. You can continue to follow me over there if you wish. And (maybe I shouldn't say this, but…) if you aren't interested in the music/food/entertainment/weird-videos postings … Read more

A second self-indulgent trip down memory lane

by David Safier

As I count down to my exit from BfA and entrance onto The Range, I'm taking a look back on my tenure here. Mike Bryan says I've written over 3,000 posts, and I believe it. Even scrolling through them at lightning speed takes some time. Here's a continuation of my first self-indulgent trip down memory lane, stopping just before the horrific January 8, 2011, shooting.

• I started blogging about charter schools in earnest in 2009, looking at the Imagine School chain, which has gone from bad to even further downhill, BASIS, which does a good job at what it does but lies through its teeth about how it does it, and other charters.

• I went after candidate Steve Kozachik in a post in 2009 when he ran for city council for the first time. Boy, was I wrong. Sorry about that, Steve.

• I began my series about the "Creative Headline Writing Team" at the Star in 2010 when it was coming up with jaw-droppingly misleading and/or politically slanted headlines. I capped the series with a "Worst Star Headline of the Year" contest in December. Probably coincidentally, the paper's headlines have gotten better since then.

• The Goldwater Institute's education guy, Matthew Ladner, was pushing the "Florida education miracle" pretty heavy. I wrote a series of posts, "The Floridation of Arizona Education" in 2010, taking apart the not-so-miraculous educational progress in the Sunshine State. Since then, Arizona has adopted a number of Florida education ideas, while Florida has backpedaled on some of them. Ladner now works for Florida ex-Guv Jeb Bush.

This can’t be good

by David Safier The Arizona Chamber of Commerce announced its 2014 legislative agenda. Along the way, Speaker of the House Andy Tobin, who's running for Congress in CD-1, said Washington is what's wrong with Arizona. “If the federal government took its foot off the throat of Arizona, we would be doing a lot better,” he said. … Read more

Explorer News, a press release is not a news story

by David Safier In the interest of full disclosure, I need to mention that I write a monthly column for The Explorer, a weekly distributed mainly in the Marana/Oro Valley/Foothills area. But seeing as how I'm criticizing the paper, it probably isn't necessary. A few days ago, I went to the online home page of … Read more

A self-indulgent trip down memory lane

by David Safier

Stay_classy_rangeMy new home on The Range is official. While New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is clinging to his last shred of plausible deniability, Weekly editor Dan Gibson lost his when he committed to my new position in print. He went so far as to say my presence on the blog "should class up the joint a bit." Stay  classy, The Range!

I've been looking through my old BfA posts and found (a) there are a lot of them and (b) a few of them are worth remembering. So, without anyone requesting it, I'm taking a trip down memory lane. This one stops in July, 2009. If I don't get bored, I'll keep plowing up through to the present.

• I met Mike Bryan, who started BfA, when he and I co-blogged an election integrity trial in late 2007. At lunch one day, I told him I'd like to write regularly on the blog, mainly about education. He quizzed me, probably to see if I had anything to say, then handed me the keys to the kingdom. I wrote my first post under my byline in February, 2008. Since then, the blog has grown to include multiple contributers from the Tucson and Phoenix areas.

• McCain declared his rustic pleasure palace in the Sedona area was a "ranch" in 2008. Dr. Word (a character I created for that post) was furious, saying that a ranch had sheep and cows and animals like that, and McCain's spread was all opulence, no cattle. A few others made the same observation independently of mine, but the Guardian in the U.K. actually referenced my post directly. I decided to look through the web to see if there was a real McCain Ranch and discovered there once was an appropriately fictional McCain Ranch, owned by The Rifleman on the old TV series. I uncovered a bunch of black and white stills from the show, put McCain's head on Chuck Connors' shoulders and captioned them.