Letters

Reeling
Movie reviewer M. V. Moorhead was close, but not precisely correct, in describing LaJetee as a half-hour film "told entirely in still photographs" ("Uneven Dozen," January 11).

There is a scene in which a woman blinks.
Thomas J. Baker
Payson

Fife Imitates Art
I just finished reading "Young Fife: The Lost First Decade" (Peter Gilstrap, January 11) about South Phoenix residents who remember a kid named Eddie growing up in the neighborhood 40 or 50 years ago who apparently bore a resemblance to Arizona's governor. The article wasn't intriguing, it wasn't informative, it wasn't shocking, it wasn't depressing, it wasn't mysterious, it wasn't irreverent, it wasn't inspiring, it wasn't satirical, it wasn't amusing, it wasn't controversial, it wasn't even preposterous.

It wasn't anything but plain, dumb stupid. Just like the way I feel right now for having ground it out to the bitter end, expecting, at least, a lame punch line (the absence of which, in retrospect, I could have anticipated). I am writing to express my profound embarrassment for both Peter Gilstrap and myself.

Stephen W. Baum
Phoenix

They already made a movie of Fife's life: It'scalled The Jerk.
Julie Combs
Phoenix

Go Figure
The January 11 letter written by Loyd Eskildson of Scottsdale did not have too sound of a story. Using Eskildson's figures, it is understandable that people are angry that their tax dollars for education are not going far. However, Eskildson does not mention that, from 1980 to 1989, there was unprecedented immigration. People from many parts of the world are coming to the U.S., specifically Arizona. Because of this, myriad programs, like English As a Second Language, have been created. These types of programs definitely cost more than the one-size-fits-all education.

During the above time period, computer technology has changed incredibly. Schools have responded by adding computer classes, as well as improving their existing business classes. This is very expensive, as is the staff required.

Private schools have quite a bit of an advantage over public schools: They can be selective in who attends. This eliminates money needed for the ESL programs. The people who attend private schools often have wealthy parents who can afford to donate their time, money and expertise when needed.

I hope this sheds some light on the other side of the story from someone who has experienced what school is like these days. Public school isn't doing all that bad. Increase the money.

B.J. Cordova, student
North High School
Phoenix

Turkey Hash
The issues brought up by Marc Ramirez ("No Fowl, Some Harm," December 21) were not "petty cavil about a local 'saint' Nick" (Nick Ligidakis of Nick's Cuisine of Southern Europe and Nick's on Central), as Glenn Michaels of Phoenix wrote (Letters, January 4). It took courage for those residents interviewed by Ramirez to come forward and defend our proud but overworked and undercompensated, overextended families.

The story's photo of a neighborhood leader and parent, Alice Mendoza, failed to mention that the dinner pictured was for her family of seven (sans half of a half-baked turkey--three pounds): not even close to the FDA minimum required amount of food per serving. Yet the referrals from Human Services Department's Cathy Maiden were processed by Garfield caseworkers, and recipients were assured by phone the day before that a meal would be delivered for Thanksgiving.

The self-reliance and make-do philosophy exhibited in Garfield neighborhood provide an excellent opportunity for those who wish to serve the needs of others not to repeat last year's mistakes. Promise made, promise delivered. Then we can all bask in the warmth, and know another family is full.

Praise to staff writer Marc Ramirez. Perhaps next Thanksgiving, those with good intentions will stick to realistic numbers. And the coming Media Love Fest with Saint Nick's Feast won't "butterball" beyond promises made. Praise Nick, too--it is a real saintly feat to actually feed 32,000!

Kim Moody, president
Garfield Neighborhood Organization
Phoenix

The city of Phoenix would benefit greatly by having more entrepreneurs like Nick Ligidakis and fewer negative articles like the piece by Marc Ramirez. If the goal of this article was to discourage other business owners from instituting programs that give back to our community, then Ramirez has done a great job. Thanks.

Part of the reason more businesses do not create programs like Nick's is because they fear they will become targets of negative publicity and backlash. Like many businesses and/or programs that experience astronomical growth, this one does need help. Why not put all of that great New Times investigative reporting to good use by coming up with suggestions, models and resources forbusiness people who are committed to helping their community?

As one of the thousands of volunteers over the years, I assure that Nick is not seeking publicity. In an all-too-cynical world, it may be hard for some to believe that this effort comes from the heart. Furthermore, what relevance does his financial history and relationship with the immigration agency have to do with serving turkey dinners?

In an era when government programs are shrinking, more communities will be looking toward the business community for creative programs and assistance; in the future, we would hope for responsible journalism that does not bite the hands of those feeding, clothing and assisting the needy.

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