Bidwill Hunting
While his father, Arizona Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill, faces pressure to fork over big bucks to sign rookie defensive back Andre Wadsworth, Patrick Bidwill has apparently dug into his cash reserves in his own preseason holdout drama.

The younger Bidwill faced the distasteful chore of defending himself against accusations that he had referred to his father's footballers as "overpriced niggers" and had fired the former general manager of his car dealership for being a "nigger lover."

Kerry Yoder had made those accusations in a lawsuit against Bidwill after Yoder had been fired as general manager of Town Center Motors, a used-car lot the two had created in 1996. Yoder's charge: that Bidwill had never intended to honor a lucrative contract he had signed with Yoder, but had fired Yoder on the day the dealership opened because Yoder had dared hire African Americans.

Bidwill's attorneys assured the court they could prove to a jury that the accusations were lies, and that Bidwill, on the contrary, had a record of antiracist views and behavior. But days before the trial began, Yoder and Bidwill settled.

Yoder's under a court order not to disclose what sort of money Bidwill forked out and told the Flash he can't discuss it, but Yoder then added happily that he was looking forward to leaving town on an Alaskan cruise.

Weather Report
One of Jay Leno's more clever recurring routines on The Tonight Show--one of the rare bits his show didn't swipe from David Letterman's--is to take a camera out on the street and ask ordinary citizens general-knowledge questions, revealing an ignorance both hilarious and sobering. One such recent segment had a peculiarly Arizonan subtext. The topic was weather. A young man wearing a University of Arizona tee shirt was asked:

"Ever heard of the greenhouse effect?"
After a pause, he said, "No."
"Ever been interested?"
"Yeah . . ." Another pause, then he changed his mind: "No."

A young woman, asked a weather question, dodged it with a seeming non sequitur: "Got any questions about Stevie Nicks? I probably know that."

The Flash sees the connection. Stevie's own meteorological failings obviously equal those of the gal-on-the-street. Stevie, the pride of Arizona, ought to know perfectly well that thunder doesn't only happen when it's raining.

Pub Relations
The Flash can regularly be spotted in Seamus McCaffrey's Irish Pub, the scribe's favorite hostelry outside of Newman's. As New Times readers will be aware, the pub's eponymous owner is thought to be the first person thrown out of Bank One Ballpark. That happened when McCaffrey was wandering around, trying to find the VIP suite he'd been invited to, and security people ejected him for "scrounging beer."

McCaffrey received no apology from the Diamondbacks. And he's such a gentleman that he didn't eject the two Diamondbacks officials who recently came to his pub to scrounge food. This came to light when the Flash noticed a container full of business cards. Investigation revealed that the pub was holding a competition--you drop your card in there, and if it's picked out in a draw, you get a free lunch. Among those who left cards were Bob Crawford (a former Republic/Gazette employee), media relations manager for the Diamondbacks, and Roland Hemond, senior executive vice president of baseball operations. Some people have no shame.

Tough Blazar to Fill
The Flash normally doesn't pay attention to the frequent turnover in local television anchors and reporters, who seem to come and go with the frequency of bitch-slaps on Jerry Springer.

But when news arrived that KPNX Channel 12's Kari Lake had decided to abandon Phoenix for upstate New York, the Flash had to take notice.

Sure, he could say that it's Lake's reporting that he'll miss. The native Iowan seemed sharper than her colleagues, particularly the mummified threesome Channel 12 props up to deliver the weekly evening broadcasts.

But who's the Flash trying to kid? He hasn't tuned in every weekend night just to hear Lake forecast the weather.

Fact is, she's babelicious. And that's why the news of her departure came as a double blow.

Lake decided not only to take the prime anchoring spot at WNYT in Albany (opting out of several other lucrative offers), but ran off to Sedona on Monday to marry her cameraman boyfriend Jeff Halperin as well.

Lake broke the news personally to the Flash last week. Now he can't even date her via channel surfing. Time to buy a satellite dish, perhaps.

Do They Slide Down the Pole, Too?
Just what we needed: more television coverage of fires and baby drownings in the news-rich towns of Tolleson, Goodyear, Avondale and Litchfield Park.

That's what KNXV Channel 15 can't wait to bring us after signing a deal with the City of Phoenix to operate a "bureau" at a west-side fire station.

In a Channel 15 news release, Mayor Skip Rimsza gushed about the cozy relationship the journalists and firefighters will develop: "It will give reporters continual, firsthand access to the best Fire Department in the nation and the outstanding lifesaving services they deliver. And that's a very good thing for everyone."

Well, the Flash is excited.

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