It's not often that I get to read about my home in the NY Times, but here's a story and a video (scroll down and look on the left side of the screen) discussing the current state of the copper industry in southeastern Arizona, which, along with Chile, "continues to rank as one of the two richest copper provinces in the world."
The article refers several times to the "Safford valley" in Graham County, but there's no such place: The name of the place is the GILA Valley; Safford is merely the county seat and largest town. (Thatcher, the town I grew up in, is the next largest--and still quite small--and now right next to Safford, though they used to be miles apart. Historically, Safford was the business center; Thatcher the intellectual and religious center, the place where the college and the church headquarters were.) There's a mention of the recently opened pit mine there, which just about everyone I knew was in favor of: sure, it was going to be UGLY, and extremely visible, given that it was just across the Gila River (hence the name of the valley) to the north of town, but hey, it would bring prosperity.
The article mentions that Safford's Main Street, which was "once full of empty storefronts with boarded-up windows, is nearing 95 percent occupancy." And I guess that's a good thing: I worked in a couple of businesses on Main Street, and it was indeed depressing to walk past these abandoned businesses. Though the tone of the article suggests that lay-offs and boarded-up storefronts are imminent. We'll see.
(by the way, in case you didn't recognize it, the title of this entry is taken from "Moonstruck," and occurs in a line delivered by the plumber dad about the virtues of copper pipe.)