Author Archives: Larry Bodine

Reliving Terror of Gifford’s Shooting, Mom’s Group Calls for Background Checks

Pat Miesch, a member of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, recounts the 2011 Gabby Giffords shooting.

Pat Maisch, a member of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, recounts the 2011 Gabby Giffords shooting.

When the first shot went off, Pat Maisch of Tucson knew it was a gun. Standing at the end of a line to see Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, she hit the ground. The murderer had just shot Mary Reed who was shielding her children, when he ran out of bullets.

The shooter had fired 33 rounds in 20 seconds on January 8, 2011, at a “Congress on Your Corner” event, killing six people and injuring 13. Suddenly two men tackled the crazy shooter and landed on Maisch.

“In our case, we had two good guys without guns,” she said. The killer was taking another magazine out of his pocket, “and I was able to take that away from him.” She immobilized the shooter by pinning her knees on each of his ankles.

Speaking at a meeting of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, she said she was not physically injured, but is scarred by the gun violence. “People said to me, ‘that happened for a reason.’ That really pissed me off because there’s no reason that God needed Christina-Taylor Green [age 9] in heaven, or Dorwan Stoddard, or Phyllis Schneck, or Judge John Roll or Gabe Zimmerman, or Dorothy Morris.”

“This happened because people who are a danger to themselves and others shouldn’t have guns, but have easy access to them,” Maisch said.

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Will Mark Kelly Run for US Senate? Now hear this

The John C. Scott Political Forum - 1030 KVOI AM

The John C. Scott Political Forum – 1030 KVOI AM

Mark Kelly and Gabby Giffords

Mark Kelly and Gabby Giffords

John C. Scott and I analyzed whether ex-astronaut Mark Kelly will run for US Senate. A group called 314 Action is drafting him to run, and Kelly did speak to the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee about backing him. He favors gun safety measures and fighting climate change. He would run for the seat now occupied by Republican Marth McSally.

At 7:00: The Trump administration coming apart with the government shutdown, wrecking the government, damaging the economy, creating a historic deficit, starting trade wars and alienating allies. As with President Nixon, perhaps a group of Republican Senators will visit Trump and tell him he has no support.

At 10:46: At a recent meeting of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America members voiced support for H.R.8, a bill in Congress that will require background checks for anyone buying a firearm in-person or online. A twin bill has been introduced in the US Senate. Member Pat Miesch recounted the terror of being at the shooting on Jan. 8, 2011 that injured congresswoman Gabby Giffords, six people were killed and 12 others were wounded.

Moms Demand Action also backs “red flag laws” which permit a court to require an individual posing an immediate danger or threat to surrender their firearms and ammunition to law enforcement.




Water Price Increase Coming as Drought Persists

“There have been dramatic declines in Lake Mead. There is no reason to believe that it’s going to recover to where it was,” says Andrew Greenhill of Tucson Water.

Arizona homeowners can expect their water bills to go up this year as a 19-year drought continues to dry up Lake Mead, the state’s primary source of water.

If Lake Mead in Nevada drops by 5 feet, the US Bureau of Reclamation will declare “Tier 1” water shortage. This will cut Arizona’s share of the water by 12%, according to Andrew Greenhill, the Intergovernmental Affairs Manage for Tucson Water.

“This will mean the per unit costs of water will go up,” Greenhill said at a recent meeting of Sustainable Tucson. Lake Mead is now at 1,080 feet, a record low. A shortage will be declared when it drops to 1,075 feet. The water level has dropped from a high of 1,214 feet in 2000, and the population keeps growing.

The price hike can come as soon as August when the Bureau of Reclamation projects the 2020 level of the lake. The federal government operates Lake Mead and the US Secretary of the Interior is the river master.

Tucson conserves

Tucson gets an allocation of 144,000 acre-feet of water, but the city uses only 100,000, thanks to conservation initiatives. Tucson also has a secondary pipe system — one for drinkable water, and the second one with reclaimed water for golf courses and school athletic fields.

Lake Meade is only 37% full. As its level drops, Arizona's water supply will be cut.

Lake Mead is only 37% full. As its level drops, Arizona’s water supply will be cut.

Tucson also stores water in the Avra Valley near Marana, “so we’re building up our water savings account. We have every incentive to conserve,” Greenhill said.

The top priorities for lake water are the Central Arizona Project (CAP) canal, municipalities, industries and tribal areas. Agriculture is at the bottom of the list.

This means that Pinal County farmers of cotton, hay, sorghum, millet, corn will get cut first. Under current plans, farmers will be weaned off CAP supplies and will have to start drilling wells at a cost of $50 million.

The state legislature has ditherd on a drought contingency plan and must approve one in 17 days. Brenda Burman, the federal Bureau of Reclamation commissioner, threatened in December to take over some crucial Colorado River management decisions if Arizona doesn’t quickly approve drought plans.

Water harvesting expert Dan Stormont described rainwater harvesting, greywater harvesting, and water conservation features at the Living Lab.

Learn to conserve

The Sustainable Tucson event was held at the Watershed Management Group Living Lab at 1137 N Dodge Blvd., just north of Speedway. It is a non-profit dedicated to conserving water.

Dan Stormont, a certified water harvesting professional and Green Living Co-op Manager, gave a tour at the solar-powered, water-conserving lab. He pointed out a huge plastic water tank designed to hold water for non-native plants and landscaping. Tucson offers a rebate of up to $2,000 for installing water harvesting tanks.

The lab grounds have two buildings that draw drinking water from a 10,000 gallon underground cistern, which filters rainwater to eliminate grit and uses UV lights to kill bacteria.

Stormont said that the #1 use of water in a household is the toilet. The lab has no plumbed toilet and uses a composting toilet, which after six months produces high-quality compost for trees. The grounds are carefully landscaped with a series of sloped patios and catch basins. A washing machine, using no-salt Oasis biocompatible soap, produces greywater for watering plants.

He said Tucson is in the Santa Cruz River watershed. The river has run dry because drilling and water wells pushed the water table to 300 feet underground. The Watershed Management Group hopes one day to make the river flow with water.

Ballot Initiative Proposes to Make Tucson a Sanctuary City

Joel Feinman

Zaira Livier

Public Defender Joel Feinman and community organizer Zaira Livier propose to put a ballot initiative before Tucson voters in November that will make Tucson a sanctuary city, like San Francisco, Chicago, and New York.

“We envision a Tucson that serves as a safe refuge for all people regardless of their immigration status, race, color, age, gender identity, ethnicity, ability to speak English, religion, sexual orientation, or economic status,” according to the People’s Defense Initiative, which Feinman and Livier co-founded last April.

Titled the Tucson Families Free & Together initiative will prohibit city police officers from detaining people on the basis of immigration status, and from assisting in the enforcement of federal immigration laws, and minimize record-keeping of communications between Tucson and federal authorities.
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Senator Steve Farley is Running for Mayor of Tucson to Protect the City

Steve Farley came to Tucson 25 years ago and has represented the city in the state legislature for 12 years.

Steve Farley came to Tucson 25 years ago and has represented the city in the state legislature for 12 years.

Veteran state legislator Steve Farley announced today that he is running for Mayor of Tucson, so that he can protect the city from attacks by the Trump administration and the state Legislature. He pledged to create a construction job training program for young people, to fight climate change and to protect migrant and asylum-seekers.

He was surprised by the retirement of Mayor Jonathan Rothschild after 8 years in office. “I realized that the experience I could bring to serve the city I would be amazing,” he said in an interview with the Blog for Arizona. “I chose Tucson for my home 25 years ago and it is a dream to be able to serve the city I love.”
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