Thursday, May 26, 2011

Donovan Durband to head Rio Nuevo

Some may remember that Donovan Durband once served as the able and well respected Director of the Tucson Downtown Alliance, an adept organization that promoted downtown and provided a variety of services supporting downtown businesses and activities.

During the period where Cloth Aficionados were plundering various agencies and stealing their funding, their eyes turned to the Alliance, and they replaced Durband (salaried in the $60K range) with Clothmeister Glen Lyons ($120K+), doubled the size of its board, and changed its name to the Downtown Tucson Partnership. Lyons promptly ousted Durband so he could hire the wife of a city council member's chief of staff. The DTP quickly devolved and became yet another cheer leading squad for the local boondoggles.

While the public could easily overlook TREO's stealing a few hundred grand from the various agencies that actually did something, the amply documented Rio Nuevo saga produced an outrage even the most talented Clothmeisters could not suppress. Its former director Greg Shelko, as well as Glen Lyons and said wife he hired, found other employers to pay them to occasionally show up. The FBI is now investigating Rio Nuevo, and Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup is not running for re-election.

Think what you like of Republican city councilman Steve Kozachik, but make no mistake, the man is no clothophile. He even suggested that the generously funded likes of TREO and MTCVB have performance measures, and imagine the gall, that the performance against these measures be reviewed.

Durband stayed in town when his agency was destroyed and accepted a position on Kozachik's staff, hardly putting him into the cloth corner, and now he has been tapped to take the helm of Rio Nuevo. Does this mean he's drunk the Cloth kool-aid and participated in their indoctrination programming? Is this an effort to take his talents away from a recalcitrant council member? Time will tell, but not likely.

It's difficult to imagine a former Kozachik staff member advising various contractors to pay Larry/Dan consulting for consideration in lucrative Rio Nuevo deals to produce plans for studies and blueprints for strategies. I don't see it.

Donovan Durband is accepting a difficult job in an environment where patience and the benefit of the doubt have been bled past dry. Greedy schmucks and self-absorbed egos are in every meeting. Perhaps the overarching presence of an FBI investigation and a new Mayor that can do something other than cheer for the charade will assist the efforts to transform a cloth windfall into a productive project for downtown Tucson.

By the way, Donovan, I've got an awesome idea for this really cool bridge.

Saturday, May 07, 2011


Birthers – don’t believe Barack Obama was born in Hawaii.
Deathers – don’t believe Osama Bin Laden is dead.
Machisnos – don’t believe Barack Obama is a man.
Femnots – don’t believe Michelle Obama is a woman.
Orphanistas – don’t believe Barack Obama’s daughters are his own.
Terrestrials – think Obama was born in outer space.
Retrocashists – think Obama ran up the national debt 1980 – 2008.
Blacksassins – think Obama was the second gunman on the grassy knoll.
Stealthallahs – think Obama is secretly a Muslim.
Underkoshers – think Obama is secretly Jewish.
Barackspins – think Obama is a whirling Dervish.
Obamalamas – think Obama is the reincarnation of the 14th Dalai Lama.
Hityouthers – think Obama is descended from a love child born to Hitler in 1943
Barackatrinas – think Obama caused the 2005 hurricane in New Orleans.
Obamahots – think Obama invented global warming.
Obamabots – think Obama is a robot controlled by the Dark Lord Nazzerath of the Meldikon Empire in the Goryilliath system.

Monday, May 02, 2011

A Tale of Two 5/1's

(Above - May 1, 2011. President Obama, Vice-President Biden, Deputy National Security Advisor Dennis McDonough, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, White House Chief of Staff William Daley, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and other officials watch the mission unfold in Abbattabod, Pakistan.) The reality of the situation drips from the photograph, the expressions in the room showing the gravitas of competence in the face of difficulty and risk. Count the smiles in the room.

Contrast the faces in the May 1, 2011 photo with that of the May 1, 2003 photo of George W Bush declaring "Mission Accomplished" while Iraq's condition continued to deteriorate, Afghanistan remained a total mess, and Osama Bin Ladin remained very much alive.

May 1, 2003 - Mission Accomplished without the accomplishments

May 1, 2011 - Mission Accomplished without the smiles