The Joan De Arc

All the fits that's news to print
Founded AD 1967 / $5.00
Phoenix, Arizona / Tuesday, December 25, 2001
2001 by JPB Publishing Ltd.
On the INSIDE: Editorials, Chuck's Corner A2 / Entertainment, Sports A3 / Nostalgia A4 / Christmas Section A5
Avenue Weather: Partly cloudy with possible late afternoon showers. High 64 / Low 40

Joan De Arc Avenue makes bid for Cardinals stadium
Lowest priced proposal currently on the table

(BP)- A coalition of Joan De Arc residents and local business interests has submitted an official proposal to the Tourism and Sports Authority for the building of the new Arizona Cardinals football stadium right here on Joan De Arc Avenue. John Bueker, editor, publisher and CEO of the Joan De Arc Crusader, made the astonishing bid official on Saturday at a hastily called press conference at his home in Peoria.
    "This is no joke, and it does not sound as far fetched as it is," said Bueker, who quickly added "Uh, that is, it's not as far fetched as it sounds! Yeah, that's what I meant. Quit looking at me."
    Maricopa county residents approved Proposition 302 last November, which provides for targeted taxes and redirected revenue streams for the purpose of raising $334 million to build Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill a new "multi-purpose" stadium for his team. Although a site in Tempe was originally selected for the project, it was recently abandoned over concerns about its close proximity to Sky Harbor International Airport.
    The Joan De Arc site would tentatively be located in the backyard of Bueker's old house at 3219, the scene of many legendary gridiron clashes in the past. "We had some truly great CFL (Community Football League) games in that backyard back in the '60s and '70s, so there is a well established tradition of pigskin greatness there already in place. Also, the entire infrastructure to support the stadium already exists," Bueker said, an apparent reference to the approximately two dozen driveways on the street where fans could park their cars before making a pleasantly brief walk to the stadium. When asked about the dearth of skyboxes on the roof of the house, Bueker insisted "Skyboxes, shmyboxes. This stadium is going to cost approximately $75 to build, so we can just give the remaining $333,999,925  to Bidwill in lieu of the lost skybox revenue. No muss, no fuss. Everybody's happy. I think the low price tag for this project is a big, big factor in our favor."
    Bueker also had an answer for the question of where to seat all the loyal Cardinals fans, who are believed to number somewhere in the hundreds if not thousands: "Not a problem. We're going to build bleachers that will hold 19 or 20 people at the absolute minimum, and the rest of the fans can just look over the fence to catch all the energy and excitement of Cardinals football."
    The concession stands would probably be located out on the street itself, where Bueker promises that "Cardinals fans will still have every opportunity to get drunk and make complete asses of themselves." He then wiped a tear away from the corner of his eye and added, "I believe in tradition, damn it."
    The Crusader publisher mentioned several other key aspects of the Joan De Arc site that will set it apart from the other proposals from Phoenix, Tempe, Glendale and elsewhere. "The Joan De Arc site is a stone's throw from I-17," he said, "and there are several cheap hotels and strip malls here that we believe make our proposal all the more compelling. Plus, there's not an airport in sight." When asked about the possible conflict of interest that might arise from the presence of the stadium on the street with his street oriented newspaper, Bueker whispered, "Piss off. If the "Repulsive" can do it, then so can we," an apparent reference to the Arizona Republic and its financial support for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Bank One Ballpark.
    The TSA is not expected to make a decision on a stadium site until June, and had no immediate comment on the Joan De Arc proposal. Bill Bidwill did not return the Crusader's calls for comment.

Christmas tree shortage reported on JDA Avenue

by J. Bueker
    Residents of Joan De Arc Avenue are reporting disturbing difficulties in finding a local source for the procurement of Christmas trees, and the problem is apparently more acute this year than ever before. The gradual loss of grocery stores and vacant lots in the area over the past 20 years has resulted in a steady reduction in the availability of the traditional coniferous flora of the holiday season. For many years, most Joan De Arcians would simply travel to the nearby A.J. Bayless at Westown Shopping Center, or the vacant lot on the south side of Cactus Road at 30th Drive to secure their Yuletide evergreens. Bayless however is long gone, and the traditional vacant lot now demands prohibitively high prices for their trees. An inside Crusader investigation has revealed that the current vendor there (Kraemer Trees) has been asking as much as $90.00 for a simple Scotch pine, the popular Eurasian pine tree (Pinus sylvestris). The Home Depot store on the opposite side of I-17 has had trees for sale this year, but its location is not nearly as convenient as the businesses of yore. The new Lowe's store west of the Black Canyon has trees for sale, but the limited selection does not recommend it to the discerning shopper. The result of it all is that Avenue residents have fewer nearby sources for reasonably priced Christmas trees.
    Ironically, the remarkable growth of the area has hastened the decline of available Christmas tree vendors for Surrey Heights. As development has been constantly extended in all directions in the northwest Valley over the last 30 years, businesses have tended to migrate away from the older neighborhoods in favor of more dynamic areas of commerce and relative affluence. Although the economics of the phenomenon are easy to grasp, Avenue residents have become increasingly bitter about the need to travel miles from their homes in order to secure what was once so close at hand. One consequence is that a significant number of people are breaking out their old artificial trees or even going without entirely. "The hell with it," murmured Avenue resident Earl Smith when approached for comment. "The freaking hell with it." Other residents are on the other hand somewhat bemused by this defeatist attitude. "Oh, just drive the extra half a mile for God's sake," was Joan De Arc Avenue matriarch Helen Mitchell's suggestion. "What's the big deal?"

Priceless Bueker family artifact uncovered

by J. Beaver
    The original coat-of-arms family name plate from the front door of the old Bueker house mysteriously turned up recently in the Lakewood area of Phoenix, near Ahwatukee. An anonymous home owner in the area apparently discovered the highly valued family heirloom while sorting through a box of long neglected personal effects. How it came into his possession is unclear, but realizing its significance, he immediately notified the Crusader to report the remarkable find. The plate seems to be exceptionally well preserved, with only some minor scuff marks on the high quality black plastic that has "The Buekers" inscribed upon it in a beautifully stylized manner.
    The origins of the "Bueker crest," as it has come to be known in Joan De Arc lore, remain shrouded in legend. One account is that Barbara Bueker spotted an advertisement for the plates in her beloved Reader's Digest one day in the late '60s, and could not resist the compulsion to order one from the mail order house that was hawking the items at the time. After arriving some weeks later, the plaque was dutifully attached to the front door of the Bueker home directly beneath the window area by Carl Bueker, who admired the handsome appearance of the plate but was typically disturbed by the financial investment required for its acquisition. The plate is believed to have originally sold for approximately $9.95 plus shipping and handling. It remain affixed to the Bueker's front door for approximately eight years until it disappeared around the time the Buekers left Joan De Arc Avenue.
    The ultimate disposition of the Bueker crest is still in question, with several parties apparently claiming legal rights to this relic of a bygone era. The litigation is expected to last for years.
    The Buekers lived at 3219 from 1963 to 1977.

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