Train of Thought

…keeps a-rollin’

jane-fonda-cover-1542x2056american-apparel-advanced-basics-features-old-woman-in-ad__oPtgapRevisiting older women in ads (Old is the New Black1), with Jane Fonda (77!!!) on the cover of W, Jacky O’Shaughnessy (scouted in a New York restaurant) modeling for American Apparel, and Angelica Houston (and Michael K. Williams) in a Gap ad.

Uranium mining

Continuing looking into the state land trust funds (from Arizona Education at the bottom of the last blog2) that our governor hopes to dip into a bit more enthusiastically, for the sake of K-12 education, I checked out how the state lands are used to generate the money:

Sales and Commercial Leases. Leasing categories include grazing, agriculture, mineral, mineral material, exploration, and apiary. Other administrative areas include water sales, mineral material sales, water rights administration, dam safety, trespass, recreational permits, environmental contamination, and cultural resources.3

But there’s a lot of controversy regarding uranium mining near the Grand Canyon.

Uranium mining has a long history in northern Arizona. For over a hundred years it’s created jobs, but has also caused cancer in miners who breathed it or the many Native Americans who drank it after their water became contaminated by it.
In 2011 then Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar proposed a Uranium mining ban in a million acres around the Grand Canyon. It became law in 2012, but it only banned new claims, not existing ones.
That is how it is completely legal for a company called Energy Fuels to re-open and start mining uranium out of Canyon Mine, which was permitted to be mined in 1986.4

It was taken to court, but (surprise, surprise) the white guys won again.  April 8, 2015  Federal Judge OKs Uranium Mining Next to Grand Canyon National Park:

U.S. District Court Judge David Campbell denied a request to halt new uranium mining at the Canyon uranium mine, located only six miles from Grand Canyon National Park’s South Rim. The Havasupai tribe and a coalition of conservation groups had challenged the U.S. Forest Service’s decision to allow Energy Fuels Inc. to reopen the mine without initiating or completing formal tribal consultations and without updating an obsolete federal environmental review dating to 1986. At stake are tribal cultural values, wildlife and endangered species, and the risk of toxic uranium mining waste contaminating the aquifers and streams that sustain the Grand Canyon and Colorado River.5

I hiked down to Supai village, located within Havasu Canyon, think about 1998.  It’s at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.  We chose that hike for the four series of waterfalls (this photo, of Havasu Falls, from an article6).  havasu fallsIt was July but the water temperature was 52 degrees!  Too cold for me, so I just enjoyed the spray from the falls, but my son’s girlfriend, from Canada, dove in without a qualm.  Would hate all of this pristine water to be polluted with uranium!

colorado-river-trailYears before that I had taken a raft down the Grand Canyon, from Lee’s Ferry down to Lake Mead.  (This photo of Colorado River & Trail Expeditions – Day Trips from TripAdvisor)  We “bathed” in the water, we swam in the water (only if we were very hot), we drank the water (out of plastic mugs they gave us which were dark brown inside so that you couldn’t see the color of the river – colorado means red), we brushed our teeth in the river (using those mugs), we made coffee from the water.  One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World could be contaminated by uranium.

Tucson Community Center

EckbowaterfeatureA while back, when I was doing independent study on landscape architecture, I read Garrett Eckbo’s Landscape for Living.  He was one of the most highly respected and influential American modernist landscape architects, and he designed the landscape at Tucson’s community center.  (Photo credit: fotovitamina, 2012)

This landscape – composed of stepped terraces, undulating water courses, tree groves, and cool shallow pools… faces destruction nearly 40 years after its completion by the very city that once commissioned it.7

Two years ago there was an article in the Arizona Daily Star, Tucson’s public art crumbling from lack of maintenance funds:

Many of the public artworks were installed as part of the city’s 1-percent-for-art program — 1 percent of every capital-improvement project is earmarked for public art. None of the money can be set aside for maintenance because capital money is designated for creating a project and all the funds must be used specifically for that, said Mary Ellen Wooten, public art program manager with the Tucson Pima Arts Council.8

tucson cc
The lack of maintenance has extended to Eckbo’s landscape.  I had just moved to Tucson when the community center was being built.  Do you remember when water crashed about these beautiful boulders in the Fountain Plaza?

A year ago KGUN9 news reported that Group plans renovation for overlooked downtown landscape:

The landscape is already on the list of Arizona historical properties. Now Helen [Erickson of the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation] is working toward the national register. Rio Nuevo gave the group a matching grant of $25,000 and Erickson says the area is being considered for a future Pima County Bond Election.

For more information about the group planning the renovations, click here. For a look at the conservation master plan for this space, click here.9

With that backstory, we now get to my train of thought, my mention of visiting a CAD class in the last blog2, about the Pima independent study students and the Revit club turning a pointcloud laser scan into a set of Revit (3D CAD) drawings.  That laser scan was done of the community center landscape, and it is being turned into a Revit drawing for presentations of the project that is on this fall’s bond election.

Prop. 427
Music Hall, Leo Rich Theatre, and TCC landscape renovations* – $23.5M
Historic county courthouse restoration/repurposing – $25M
Temple of Music & Art rehab – $.9M
Tucson Children’s Museum remodel/expansion – $5M

*Rio Nuevo is currently in discussions with the city of Tucson on how to fund an additional $48M of suggested renovations to the Tucson Convention Center. (Phase I renovations of $9M to the Tucson Arena and other areas were completed in December, 2014.

Last week I went to another one of those independent study classes, and the group was giving a presentation to Helen Erickson, Steve Grede (landscape architect and CAD department chair at Pima’s downtown campus), another landscape architect  (I should have been taking notes), and two professors from U of A.  All were suitably impressed.  And now that I know what this is all about, so am I.


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