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News & Opinion

T he little guy and the big guy both receive attention in this week's News & Opinion section. We favor the underdog around here, so let's start with the little guy. "Who Are The People In Your Neighborhood" examines the role of neighborhood associations in local politics. Whether in rich or poor sections of town, working to maintain nearby parks or put a stop to local drug dealers, these associations are a force to be reckoned with. Meanwhile, "Labor's Day" takes us into the workplace to focus on telemarketing employees, whose low-wage, high-pressure jobs have recently become the target of union organizers. If you think being bothered at home by phone solicitors is bad, wait till you hear what they have to endure from their bosses. And Captain Opinion weighs in on the labor issue with his ode to the thankless efforts of bus drivers.

N ow for the big guy. We start with a reflective look at Bill Clinton's presidency thus far. Though Captain Opinion's column doesn't have any kind words for Bubba, this author certainly does, and he pulls out the ol' JFK comparison to let us know he means business. Scandals or no, Clinton's approval rating has peaked, the economy is high, and it's time to look at where the presidency might be heading in the 21st century. Other politicians have not fared so well lately--or have they? Arizona's governor, Fife Symington, has spent the summer on trial for fraudulent business practices. Thanks to the dismissal of an allegedly senile jury member, the Fifester may yet have options for avoiding resignation when the (very likely) guilty verdict comes in. Jeff Smith provides his usual vitriolic commentary on the proceedings.

W hether you're a big guy or a small guy, what's important is keeping it all in perspective, and that's exactly what Michael Ventura tries to do with his "Letters at 3am" column. Reflecting on his travels through Arizona's Grand Canyon region, he finds beauties and truths greater than most scampering tourists would care to consider. For some it takes a sunset in a painted desert to come to terms with reality; for others, it takes a huge, huge party. That's what participants in New Orleans' 25th annual "Southern Decadence" festival will be getting as they dance through the French Quarter in sequined costumes and stiletto heels.

B ut if you really want to keep it all in perspective, I mean if you really want to keep it in perspective, try this article on using search engines. And don't you dare forget to read Odds & Ends for its always-refreshing look at the absurdity of the world. Happy reading, big guy.


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Volume I, Issue 13
September 2 - September 8, 1997

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Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood
Neighborhood Associations fight crime, organize rallies and enforce zoning codes; they are some of our city's most powerful--and little known--political organizations. [2]
Julie Birnbaum

Labor's Day
The AFL-CIO pumps new life into Tucson's labor unions. And the city's underpaid, poorly treated telemarketing workers may be among the first to seize the day. [3]
J.E. Relly

Bus Drivin' and Cryin'
Alibi's resident loudmouth sounds off. [4]
Cap'n O

Is Clinton JFK's Peer?
Peace and prosperity have given the president a new status. [5]
Richard Cohen

Non Compos 'Menace'
Yet another weird chapter in the Arizona political saga. [6]
Jeff Smith

Letters at 3am
Arizona's Painted Desert may not inspire belief in God, but it makes clear that there is a greater force in this universe. [7]
Michael Ventura

Delicious Decadence
A New Orleans tradition captures world's attention. [8]
Rich Collins

The Thrill of the Hunt
Looking at the nuts and bolts of search engines. [9]
Ann Mulhearn

Odds & Ends
Timed-release news capsules from the flipside. [10]
Noah Masterson

Now What?
Can't get enough news? You're in luck -- more news is created every day. Our Now What? page offers a plethora of recommended links to help keep you living in the present. [11]

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From The Vaults

Odds & Ends
Leaking mystery fluids, world leaders, globetrotting corpses, and drunk driving iguannas. [07-02-97]
Devin D. O'Leary

Easy Money in Hard Times
Memphis has the highest bankruptcy rate in the nation, and many lenders are cashing in on the business of poverty. [08-18-97]
Jacqueline Marino




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