Phoenix, AZ – The legislation imposes a $50 fine on anyone caught driving while texting, with a $200 penalty if there's an accident. The plan drew derision from Sen. Ron Gould. He pointed out that cell phones do things that would remain legal while barreling down the road, like running a spreadsheet program, playing video games, and even watching a video. He said that makes it unenforceable.
Flagstaff, AZ – Earth Notes: The Juniper Pollen Project
For many people, spring arrives with the sighting of the first wildflower or first robin. But for some, spring brings a problem: it means the arrival of juniper pollen, a common cause of asthma and allergies in the upland Southwest.
Now researchers are relying on citizen science to track when the pollen is on its way. The Juniper Pollen Project needs volunteers to observe individual junipers near their homes and note when the trees release their fine yellow dust.
Phoenix, AZ – A report prepared by the Board of Regents finds about eight out of every 10 students who get an undergraduate degree from one of the state's three universities are able to find work within Arizona. Dan Anderson, an economist for the regents, said they appear to be landing what he called good, entry-level jobs. But 20 years later, the figure of graduates still working in Arizona drops to fewer than half.
Phoenix, AZ – The measure would declare the Colt single action Army revolver the official state firearm. It was crafted by Colt lobbyist Todd Rathner. He told Arizona Public Radio the designation is justified.
(It's historically important to the founding of this state and to the survival of the state. The Arizona Rangers used them. The Copper Queen mine used them. There's another copper mine that used them. I'm serious. I have shipping records from the 1850s.)
Phoenix, AZ – Bundgaard has been under scrutiny since a Feb. 25 incident where he got into a fight with his now-former girlfriend in the median of a Phoenix freeway. A police officer said both should be charged with domestic violence. But Bundgaard escaped jail with a claim of immunity from arrest while the legislature is in session. His companion did not. Sen. Ron Gould led the fight in the 90-minute closed door meeting to have Bundgaard replaced.
(I made my case. Apparently not well enough, though.)