I came across this article in our paper and thought some of you might appreciate why so many of us Zonies are Disney AP holders.
Laurie Roberts' Columns & Blog
Tiki cops and Fantasyland: Az rides that'll make your head spin
It is, we are told, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Our golden chance to lure millions upon millions of tourists who would otherwise bypass our fair state in search of a talking mouse and a jumping whale.
The state Senate next week will consider taking a bite out of Mickey and Shamu by lending a hand to a pair of Phoenix investors, giving them access to low-interest government loans and taxing authority.
This, so they can build a rock-and-roll theme park in that notorious garden spot, Eloy.
This is, of course, fantastic news, as everyone knows it is no longer enough merely to be home to one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. If you want to entice today's tourists, you've got to throw in a pair of mouse ears.
Still, I'm not convinced that we need a theme park in Arizona. Having lived here for awhile now, I'm pretty sure we are a theme park.
Everywhere you look, there is something to take your breath away. There's “It's a Small World -- Narrow Almost,” a mind blowing trip through the Legislature. There's the brain rattling roller coaster that is John Shadegg's campaign. And is there any ride more thrilling than the tag team of Joe Arpaio and Andy Thomas? Interactive, too. (You write about them, they slap you in jail.)
Oh yeah, Arizona is full of attractions that'll make your head spin. Here are a few of my recent favorites:
Mr. Renzi's Wild Ride a k a Honey I Shrunk My Political Future
Take a madcap dash through Washington with our own indicted Rick Renzi, recently ranked 435th most influential in the 435-member Congress. Listen as he explains how Arizonans are depending on him to continue representing their interests. Keep your eyes peeled for rare Renzi sightings, as he splits his time between being the least-listened-to guy on the hill and the most-watched guy trying to avoid a cell. Prepare for a jolt at the end of this six-year ride. Even if he's convicted of using his position to boost his bank account, he'll still get nice retirement gift, courtesy of taxpayers: $15,000 a year for the rest of his life.
Travel to the land of make-believe, a few hours south of the Valley. It was here two years ago that George Bush stationed 2,400 National Guardsmen as part of his new border strategy. Experience the mission, which called for the Guard to remain, according to a Pentagon memo, until the Border Patrol “gains independent operational control and National Guard forces are no
longer required.” Wave goodbye to the troops, who will be gone by July. While you're there, check out the $20 million “virtual” fence but don't worry about getting too close. It's a lot like Buzz Lightyear's infra-red ray gun. Imaginary.
Climb aboard and come along on the daring escapades of the city of Phoenix as its leaders cut $90 million from the budget. You'll tremble as 460 jobs circle the drain. You'll shake your head in sadness as services are cut. You'll sit in stunned amazement as city leaders continue doling out $12,000 a month to attorneys to defend their right to give away $100 million in future taxes to a shopping mall developer. Just when you think this ride cannot reach any higher in its absurdity, you'll take an exciting plunge to the pool below. But watch out! They'll be draining city pools by Aug. 1.
Enchanted Tiki Cops
Don a sheriff's star and a flowered shirt and you, too, can fight crime, Arpaio-style, on the mean island sands off the coast of Honduras. Read a New Times report detailing the $157,000 spent on “The Bay Islands Sister Agency Project for Justice and Service” while in Phoenix deputies are recycling paper clips. Listen as the sheriff's office explains to 12News how they're preventing gangs and drugs from reaching Arizona by sending traffic investigators (the car kind, not the drug kind), a human-resources employee and a homicide detective to the islands. Settle back and ponder:
Are we on a ride -- or being taken for one?