“The difficult we do immediately. The impossible takes a little longer.”
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers motto
Hanging by your thumbs can certainly affect your perspective on the passage of time. So the twists, turns and delays in the visionary effort to build a university in Payson does feel like a particularly refined form of torture.
Lots of folks have given up: They’re thinking they’d rather just chew their thumbs off than hang here another minute longer.
Then again, if it was merely difficult to talk the Forest Service out of land and Arizona State University into bed, everyone would do it.
Now, now: No off-color wisecracks about Lake Havasu City.
Fact is — the audacious sounded like Mission Impossible right from the outset — which even the Army Corps of Engineers concedes takes a little longer.
So we welcome the Rim Country Educational Alliance’s apparent willingness to give up on an ardently sought education partner that just can’t bring himself to say “yes.”
We’ve long felt that the Alliance was acting like a beautiful woman with low self-esteem — flattered that the rich guy with the Mercedes was flirting with her at all. But what the Alliance really needs is a guy who will be there through the long winter nights — reading poetry and feeding the potbelly stove.
So we think it’s time to give ASU this one last chance, then look to Plan B.
Fortunately, if the Alliance will just log onto E-Harmony it just might find a world of partners eager to move in for free rent and high speed Internet.
The recent emergence of IMG has added an exciting new twist, although we’ll stop the metaphor short of references to threesomes. Granted, we could get our hearts broken once again. However, we’re astonished that the undaunted backers of the college plan have gotten this far with a second suitor who could contribute heavily to the bottom line — while bringing Payson international attention.
So we hope the Alliance will move quickly to settle with ASU — one way or the other. Then the Alliance can seek a more ardent partner. ASU still has formidable attributes — but there’s nothing more frustrating than a half-hearted lover.
So don’t let the dream die.
Don’t mind us: We’ll just hang here a little longer — and try hard not to look at the clock.
Strange end for bizarre bill
The bizarre plan to force universities and colleges to let students take guns to class has died, says the bill’s author, Sen. Ron Gould, a Lake Havasu City Republican who’s also running for the redrawn Congressional District 4 seat that includes Rim Country. Sen. Gould said he needed 16 senate votes, but could only round up 13.
Last year, by contrast the Legislature did adopt the measure — but in an unexpected fit of common sense, Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed it.
So did the unanimous opposition of the top officials and police departments at all three of the state’s universities have an impact?
Not at all, says Gould: It was redistricting.
Gould said so many lawmakers this year find themselves in competitive districts that they’re unwilling to do anything too controversial.
Apparently most lawmakers still think we’d be better off if students stashed guns in their book bags, but they’re now worried all those new voters in their annoyingly balanced districts won’t see the benefit.
This theory provides an ironic vindication for the much-decried maps drawn by the Independent Redistricting Commission, which gave priority to creating competitive legislative districts. Balanced districts force each party to nominate moderates and pragmatists. Lopsided districts produce candidates who can appeal to either the far-right or the far-left because they know that if they win the primary they’ll win the seat.
Granted, creating competitive districts that also protected minority voting rights had some irritating side effects — like splitting Gila County into two different congressional districts and three different state legislative districts. As a result, in Congress, Rim Country will be the wagging tail of a dog dominated by towns like, well, Lake Havasu City. In the Legislature, we’ll end up with Flagstaff’s fleas.
Still, it’s almost worth it if professors at Gila Community College don’t have to wonder how many guns wait stashed in book bags before doling out final grades.