RoxSand compares her style of service and diversity to Rancho Pinot Grill and Pizzeria Bianco. Please! My one-time dining experience at RoxSand was the most unpleasant, lifeless dining experience I have ever had, including fast-food and drive-up windows. RoxSand should not flatter herself as being in the same league with Rancho Pinot Grill and Pizzeria Bianco.

RoxSand states that 80 percent of what she brings in is organically grown, locally. This is not possible based on her menu, especially since a large part of her menu is meat or farm-raised seafood. The only time that organic vegetables are used are for specials that are tasteless and boring along with the norm of overly priced entrees. Is that price for talent or quality of product?

The term "politics of food" is also used frequently and loosely by RoxSand. Again, focusing on her restaurant, does she really think that this term can be applied? And what about that awful comment about Hawaiians weighing 300 pounds? Come on, New Times, that definitely should have been edited out!

By volunteering her time, and her obviously strong will and opinions, RoxSand has marketed herself very well. But on the streets of Phoenix and Scottsdale, people do not talk about going to her restaurant for "sensitivity" or to "feed their soul" so they can be "happy and healthy."

RoxSand Scocos should wake up and take a look at herself and her business before she goes out and attacks her next victim.

Name withheld

Southern Exposure
David Holthouse's article/interview with Superdrag contained quite a bit of incorrect information ("Speed Racers," June 6). First of all, the Fort Sanders area of Knoxville, Tennessee, is not a den of iniquity. Granted, there are drug dealers and lower-income persons living in the area. However, the majority of these people are students of the University of Tennessee, not career criminals or blights on the face of society. The drugs that are peddled and purchased in the area are the drugs you would expect to find in and around a college campus.

I was born and raised in Knoxville and watched the Fort Sanders area turn from a prestigious neighborhood into an extension of the college-dormitory program populated with students, former students and the occasional homeless soul. The houses and apartments in the area are inexpensive to rent, which, of course, will attract college students who choose to live without the benefits of "daddy fare" as well as a few socially disruptive elements. In the 23 years I lived in Knoxville, I never saw a pimp or a prostitute on the streets of Fort Sanders, but I see them here on Van Buren Street every day.

Secondly, I witnessed Superdrag's metamorphosis from an extremely loud, not terribly tight garage punk band (the Used) into the musicians they have become today. I attended many of the parties to which Holthouse's article made reference. In truth, the band may have exaggerated its importance and the number of attendees to those parties. However, the basement in which the bands played was a room maybe 60 feet long by 30 feet wide with a standing-room-only capacity of 50 to 70 at best.

While it is true that it was hot enough to form condensation on the walls, it was also too hot for anyone to remain down there for more than 30 minutes or so without going upstairs to breathe, and it took 15 minutes to get to the bottom of the stairs through the crowd. That's why seven to ten bands would each play 30- to 45-minute sets.

Now that I've done my civic duty to Knoxville and offered information to allow Holthouse to amend his records, I wanted to thank him for bringing a little piece of home to a recently transplanted Southern boy. Thanks!

Allen Vandergriff

Train Man
I enjoyed the column about the last passenger train pulling out of the station (Screed, June 13). I felt as if I were coming from Chicago to L.A. on the California Zephyr and to New York, too. The descriptive words brought back memories such as train whistles give a mournful cry, train rumbles, brakes squeal, belch smoke, clickety-clack into the distance, small pillows, trying to get comfortable, small bathrooms, etc.

Thanks to Peter Gilstrap for making memories come forth once more. Please have more stories like this in New Times.

Rose Hoffman

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