They're Good Kindling, Too
The boys at Rural/Metro Fire Corporation were not pleased with New Times' August 17 story about their handling of the 20,000-acre Rio fire. Soon after the issue containing Michael Kiefer's cover story, "The Souring Inferno," hit the streets, racks in several northeast Valley locations were stripped of every edition.

And that evening, a woman saw a guy in a pickup clean out a New Times rack on Warner Road in Ahwatukee. She noticed that his vanity plate was "3 Alarm," and called us.

New Times reported the paper pilfering to the police, who investigated and confirmed that the pickup is registered to Rural/Metro paramedic Mark Cichocki.

Cichocki claims he took a few papers because his grandmother was moving and needed something to pack around her china. The witness says Cichocki took a 15-inch stack of New Times--making two trips to the rack--and that the back of his pickup contained more copies of the paper.

The city prosecutor decided a conviction was unlikely, and declined to file a charge against Cichocki.

A friendly reminder to all Rural/Metro firefighters and china packers: Only the first copy is free. Each one after that costs $1, and can be obtained from the New Times office at 1201 East Jefferson.

Neither Cichocki nor his grandma has offered to pay for the packing material.

Death of a Salesman
Carl A. Bimson died last week at the age of 95. Carl who? you ask.
He once was president of Valley National Bank and of the National Bankers Association. He was responsible for what is now called the Bank One Tower, Arizona's tallest building. He was one of Phoenix's most prominent citizens, although you wouldn't have known it by reading Phoenix's daily paper(s). Bimson rated only a routine obit.

A born salesman and promoter, Bimson actually started consumer credit--The Flash would rather call it consumer debt--in Arizona. Though he retired long ago, Bimson maintained an office in the skyscraper even into his 90s. In a 1991 profile in New Times, he spoke with authority about Arizona's real estate collapse of the late Eighties:

"You had all this demand for commercial property and raw land for development. And a lot of the bankers, like everybody else, forget the traditional thing of, if you loan money to somebody, how are you going to get it back, how's the borrower going to pay? A lot of these loans that were made were speculative loans . . . "
Too bad ol' Carl wasn't on the case when a speculator named Fife Symington came a-courtin'.

One Pooped Candidate
The Flash received a press release from a gent named Bob Howarth, a Phoenix gun-shop owner who plans to be the Republican nominee for president of the United States in 1996. Howarth noted he is currently a write-in candidate in Tuesday's Phoenix mayoral race, but doesn't really expect to win. In fact, he expects to get wasted.

"Unless the registered voters come to their senses, I will probably be defecated by the incumbent, Skip Rimza."
Howarth's main campaign promise is to "Abolish the Department of Education. Our young people are not learning what they need to know."

Like, for example, the correct spelling of the mayor's name. Or the difference between having the crap beaten out of you and being crapped.


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