Flacks and Figures
I read with amusement the article concerning the efforts of Nelson Robb Duval & DeMenna on behalf of its client Sitix of Phoenix ("Public Theatre," Tony Ortega, July 25). What a hearty recommendation New Times has provided for the firm's talents and services! These actions are exactly what should be expected from any PR firm worth its salt. In fact, if local officials had not used their "canned" materials, I would have been surprised. Press releases and prompt points are fodder for all public officials called upon to speak on several subjects daily. Are they puppets? No, simply politicians.

It is my impression that the Arizona Republic has reporters who could be considered pro or con. What concerns me is the lack of reporting involving the practices of those opposed to Sumitomo's presence. Why has it not been reported that those opposed have circulated many fliers with out-and-out lies regarding chemical usage and pollution figures? Why has it not been reported that Sumitomo executives have received hundreds of racist letters and faxes and phone calls, imploring them to "kill their own yellow babies"?

I am of the opinion that the opponents to the construction of the Sitix of Phoenix plant cannot be trusted. While they are quick to point out missteps and mistakes on the part of Sitix, they will rationalize or simply dismiss any questions concerning their tactics, "facts" and motivations. Hmmm, maybe they could use a good PR firm.

Name withheld

Fantastic job! Thanks for telling the truth about smilin' Skip Rimsza and Sumitomo. It's comforting to know that at least one newspaper in the Valley, in addition to Cave Creek's Sonoran News, will tell the truth.

Ed Schneider
via Internet

School Tie
A belated "thank you" to Terry Greene Sterling for the article about the Carver-Phoenix Union Colored High School Museum and Cultural Center ("Old-School Ways," May 30). I have shared it with a lot of friends across the country. I did enjoy reading it, and hearing from so many who had a chance to see the article.

Tommie L. Williams Sr.

Cell Division
In response to the letter from D.W.A. about the Maricopa County jails and the rights of prisoners (July 25), I think he/she would hum a different tune if he/she had a loved one in jail. The abuses cited by the study done on Maricopa County jails are, indeed, very real. Plus, the people who go to visit their loved ones are not treated much better.

As for Joe Arpaio, he is just another in a long list of politicians who are truly an embarrassment to Arizona. I'm sure people all over the nation are laughing at the citizens of Arizona and thinking that we must be a bunch of country rubes who will believe any promise-you-anything bigmouth who comes along. I pray that there will be someone qualified who will run against Arpaio in the coming election so that those of us who are tired of his egotistical theatrics and abuse of the system he is supposed to promote will have a chance to boot him out of there.

I think as a special treat for all of us, New Times should print a special issue with all of its Arpaio stories. It would give those readers who really haven't followed Sheriff Joe a chance to see why the rest of us are so angry.

Chris Soli

Loss of Earning
To add to Dewey Webb's story "Lobe, American Style" (July 25), similar situations do occur at the other theatre chains in the Valley. A friend of mine was threatened with dismissal when he forgot to remove his simple stud earring. This same friend was denied a promotion, and thus also a wage increase, to the supervisor position because of this, and because the length of his hair was unacceptable (just below his collar).

Another fellow employee was just threatened with loss of hours, suspension or possible dismissal if he did not cut his hair, which was at collar length--even though it was shorter than all current female employees.

Managers who previously worked at the theatre where I work would actually write down "earring," "hair too long" or "nose pierced" on the applications as a red flag not to call these males for interviews. Or they would just tell the hiring manager not to call these specific males.

Not only is this discrimination based on sex, it is a criminal offense under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits "discrimination in hiring, promotion, discharge, pay, fringe benefits and other aspects of employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin." The same notification hangs in the break room with the AMC employee dress code that violates these males' rights.

Though it has been recently reworded, my favorite rule used to be "facial hair must be grown on your own time."

Kurt Havelock

What decade is Dan Harkins living in?
Mike Consol
via Internet

Dan Harkins' comment about how "earrings are more for women" makes him look ridiculous. It reminded me of something my grandfather would have said, and he's been dead for more than ten years. Get with the times, Dan.

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