David Fitzsimmons: Watch out for Transportation Department employees crouching in potholes

2012-09-08T00:00:00Z David Fitzsimmons: Watch out for Transportation Department employees crouching in potholesDavid Fitzsimmons Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
September 08, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Former Tucson Streets Administrator Kurt Hough and four other Transportation Department employees were paved over today after being asked to hum the Ray Charles hit tune "Hit the Road, Jack."

A nearly yearlong investigation found they misused thousands of dollars of city materials and equipment for their own private projects. The projects included pouring a cement launch pad for grocery carts, chip-sealing a poodle and the construction of a massive warehouse to house Hough's colossal hubris. Another six to eight employees are said to be crouching in potholes awaiting discipline with a street cleaner.

City workers were often forced to whistle "King of the Road" by Hough while using city materials and equipment for their own profit. Said one co-worker, "I was stunned to find work of any kind, legal or illegal, performed on city time. That's unheard of."

• Something else you may have not heard of is the Rocky Point Film Festival, an event that should thrill cinema buffs everywhere. Here is next week's lineup of outstanding cinema:

"Los 7 Samurai Magnífico": A ragtag collection of simple coyotes and lovable drug mules living in a small town on the Sonoran side of the border hire seven samurai to combat the drug kingpins who regularly terrorize them. Gary Cooper doesn't want to be sheriff anymore and comedy reigns when the townspeople realize the Magnificent Seven are never going to come because they've been outbid by the cartel.

"Harold y Kumar's Fall Break Vacación": College friends head south for wild vacation fun. Slapstick ensues when the wacky stoners meet the drug lords who supply the weed to their dealers back home. Spoiler alert: They die in crossfire.

"Cheech and Chong's Beach Bong Fiesta": An aging hippie duo living on a beach in Puerto Peñasco is found dead and Federales are on the case. Highlights include '60s flashbacks to the time when Rocky Point was a sleepy fishing village and weed was funny.

"Smokey and the Bandit Dos": A retired Arizona DPS officer is stopped en route to his vacation home in Puerto Peñasco by a bandit who regrets his choice. Viewer discretion is advised.

• In zoo news we are sad to report that Snow, a 17-year-old polar bear at the Reid Park Retirement Zoo, died Monday. According to an unnamed giraffe, Snow enjoyed a full and long life. "She was born at the North Pole and found work early in her career as a professional starring in a number of Coca-Cola commercials. As we giraffes like to say, 'I may be sticking my neck out here,' but Snow never bragged about herself as far as I know. Her early fame won her work in films such as 'The Golden Compass' and 'Elf,' where she made Will Ferrell laugh with her impression of a fireplace rug. Tucson is just that kind of place, you know? Celebrities can blend in and just be themselves here."

• In local news, an American firm announced that delivery of Tucson's streetcars will be at least three months late. Or as Sun Tran riders say, "on schedule."

Critics of the streetcar and downtown redevelopment complained that now they'll have to wait three months to never ride the streetcar. "On the bright side," noted one critic, "that gives me three more months to gripe about downtown." Kicking a dog, the chronic complainer added, "Where is downtown? I've never been there."

• Some of you may have asked yourself at one time or another, "Are you a Tucsonan?" If you've been downtown and carped about City Hall, you're a Tucsonan. What makes a resident of this valley a true Tucsonan? I'll tell you.

If your folks honeymooned on "A" Mountain because the Apache Drive-In was just too pricey, you're a Tucsonan.

If your uncle washes his car by sprinkling Comet cleanser on the roof and leaves it out in a monsoon downpour, you're a Tucsonan.

If you get a party invitation that says "formal" and you put on your best flip-flops, it's pretty clear you are a Tucsonan.

If your sister works at Curves and your mother works out at Curves and you're not sure which one is the strip club, are you a Tucsonan? Does prickly pear prick?

• In political news, tea-publican Ally Miller will face Nancy Young Wright in the fight to replace Pima County Supervisor Ann Day. Because residents are too busy golfing to read anything but AARP catalogues, this corner of the county has elected bright lights like Al Melvin to represent them. Miller, the spawn of Terri Proud and Melvin, hopes the blinding array of flags on her signs will call attention away from the teabags she wears in place of earrings.

Tea-publican Gabriela Saucedo Mercer will face Raúl Grijalva in November. Mercer has the support of Jan Brewer who, after seeing Mercer's papers were in order, gave her a warm endorsement and a "Get out of Jail Free" card from Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Brewer told her, "We love you people."

Email Star cartoonist David Fitzsimmons: tooner@azstarnet.com

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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