Backroads, inroads and new roads

I have yet to read a book about traveling through Arizona that I didn't like. Of course, how could you go wrong when your canvas contains unequaled majestic beauty and tremendous diversity.

I recently finished a wonderful book written by Jim Hinckley, who writes columns for the Miner. "Backroads of Arizona" could be considered a coffee table book because of the awesome pictures throughout, but it's much more than that when you sit down to read it. Hinckley and Kerrick James, a professional photographer who contributes to Arizona Highways among other publications, combined their skills to produce a book that not only showcases the breathtaking beauty of the Grand Canyon State but also explores the state's many hidden treasures that can only be found off the beaten path.

If you enjoy Hinckley's Weekend Getaways in the Miner, you're really going to devour "Backroads," as the reader is given the opportunity to ride shotgun with Hinckley as he travels the roads, entertaining his passengers with little-known historic facts and legendary stories along the way.

The book is broken into regions, with easy-to-follow directions accompanying fascinating stories on what to look for as you cruise across God's country. Add in the vivid photography of Arizona's natural and man-made treasures, and you've got a wonderful treat to thumb through on a Sunday afternoon, then to use as a guide as you enjoy the states many backroads.

Neighborhood watch

As I've said before, I'm glad RAID has formed in Kingman and I was happy to see the group's first attempt at a referendum succeed. I will vote for it, mainly because the "walkable neighborhood" argument pushed by some Council members as a part of the Growing Smarter Act holds no water on this issue.

The land owner had the zoning in place to put in a small market or the like. Instead, he was seeking a C-1 designation that would allow almost anything to go in there, with a Vegas developer ready to build. That's why RAID was opposed to it.

Similar to the way city government has gone on here in the past, the Council signed off on it not knowing exactly what would go in there. It's the same thing that's happening with Kingman Crossing. There are numerous reasons to back the interchange, but not if the outcome causes people living over there to see endless traffic on their residential streets. In my mind, RAID has already succeeded well beyond where I thought they'd get if for no other reason than the Council has to consider them when it makes a decision.

I chuckled at some Council members' take on the group in Thursday's Miner. They seem to think the "Irresponsible" in RAID means them. That's ridiculous. It's not RAIC, Residents Against an Irresponsible Council, (that would be the last one) or RAIL, Residents Against Irresponsible Lyons, the councilman who stands by his decision to allow the rezoning in the residential neighborhood.

RAID is a watchdog group, nothing more. They only intend to act when the Council refuses to do its job properly. Council should welcome residents' involvement. Thankfully, two Council members do. That's a start.

Miner adjustments

As I'm sure you've noticed, the front page of your Miner looks a bit different today. We've scrapped the "teasers" along the side to give us more room for local news. We've also added a "miner" to show tomorrow's forecast. Photographer and artist extroidinaire JC Amberlyn created the still-unnamed miner to replace the weather icons. In a month or two, we'll have a naming contest for readers to give the guy a proper moniker.

Some might miss the high and low temperatures, but both can be found on Page 2, updated to just before we go to press. Lotteries and Corrections have moved onto Page 2 as well, and if gas prices explode again, we will add that there also.

We've made these changes to expand our local coverage on the front. Please let me know what you think.

Also, Peanuts found his way back to the Amusements page. Readers wanted it, so it was done. No one seemed to warm up to Prickley City, so out it went. We don't plan on changing anything else on the page in the foreseeable future.

We've added a small but soon-to-grow feature called Crime Roundup onto the local pages. Crime reporter Aaron Royster will monitor the daily police log at the Kingman Police Department, and eventually the Sheriff's Office, and compile a weekly report on trends, etc. Hopefully, we can develop this into a more detailed report over time.