Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dog Parks

Speaking of dogs scaring and endangering the wildlife (see Bighorn Sheep post below), did you know dogs are not allowed in Tucson Mountain Park, not even on a leash? I will need to tell the woman I see with her two dogs every single time I hike in TMP. Her dogs love to get into the water trough that is provided for the wildlife. I imagine the scent of the dogs may deter the intended users from enjoying the amazing flow of water on top of a hill.

There are several dog parks in Pima County and the City of Tucson where dogs can socialize and play off leash. Please use them.

The Bighorns are Coming!

The Catalina Mountains north of Tucson still had a bighorn sheep population when I moved here in 1990, but by the end of the decade, all the sheep were gone, victims of housing development and dogs illegally brought on the trails by their human companions.

Now plans are afoot to bring back the sheep. This article states the sheep might survive this time because the Bullock and Aspen Fires in 2002 and 2003 (can it really be ten years ago already?) cleared the underbrush that restricted the sheep's movement, and provided cover for the mountain lions that ate them.

We will still have the problem of hikers thinking the "no dog" signs don't really apply to their dogs. We will also have the problem of people building houses where the sheep live.

It's interesting that one of the supporters of the reintroduction is the Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society, which seems to exist to provide opportunities for hunters to kill bighorn sheep. What's wrong with taking only pictures, leaving only footprints? It works for most of us.

I sure would love to see a bighorn in the Catalinas. I wish them Godspeed.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"Put Other REALTORS in Tucson Out of Business"

An unnamed Tucson real estate agent was given foreclosure listings by Armando Granillo, a Fannie Mae foreclosure specialist in Irvine, California. In February, Granillo met in Tempe with the Tucson agent, identified as A.M., expecting to receive a cash kick back from A. M. in exchange for more foreclosure listings. This is illegal, but not uncommon at Fannie Mae, according to a fired whistle-blower.

A.M. had reported the kick back scheme to the FBI, and was wired when he met with Granillo, who told A. M. he would give A. M. so many foreclosure listings, that together they would "put other Realtors in Tucson out of business". Granillo acknowledged that the kick backs were illegal, but "a natural part of business". Check it out here.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Tucson's Where the Biking is Great

Bikescore proclaims Tucson the seventh most bikeable U. S. city with over 500,000 people. We're tied with Seattle. Portlandia is first. How can a city be bikeable if you have to be chugging up and down hills in the rain most of the time? For a pleasant bike experience, Tucsonia has to be at the top of the list.

Here's a map of the Tucson Metro area showing the bike routes with limited or no traffic by infernal combustion engines.