Letters

Forbidden Plant
As someone intimately involved with the opposition to Sumitomo, I was particularly shocked and appalled by the offensive language in the pro-Sumitomo letter published in the August 1 New Times, the one signed "Name withheld." The author questions why it has 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."

The answer is easy: There simply have not been any of these types of letters, faxes or phone calls at all. Despite attempts by Sumitomo's PR firm to divert the legitimate issues to bogus racism charges, complete with scripting for media and puppet spokespeople, the opposition to Sumitomo has nothing to do with race.

Now the depth of the heartlessness and racism involved with the pro-Sumitomo contingent is obvious. These racist slurs are of its manufacture, not ours. The same is true of the bogus fliers about Sumitomo's chemical emissions that this contingent created and then tried to pin on us.

How is it that "Name withheld" has knowledge of these alleged letters, faxes and phone calls? No one else has seen any of them. Frankly, all of us good folk are tired of the lies, drivel and innuendo. Show us.

And while we're seeing these scenes we'd all like to see, let's also see Bob Gill of Sumitomo personally demonstrate how aqueous hydrofluoric acid, the 49 percent solution that Sumitomo would use, can be washed off the skin with just water and require no further medical treatment.

Steve Brittle, president
Don't Waste Arizona, Inc.
Phoenix

As a member of the Coalition of Valley Citizens Opposed to Sumitomo and one of the people who've examined files written about in Tony Ortega's article, I was glad to see the behind-the-scenes maneuvering being aired to the public at last ("Public Theatre," July 25).

How careful the officials involved were to keep this issue under wraps until everything was signed, sealed and delivered; then we slowly started hearing about what a great corporate neighbor Sumitomo was going to be.

Only a few weeks ago, Vice Mayor Frances Emma Barwood sent out a newsletter proclaiming her loyalty to her constituents. Where were the newsletters, Frances, while Sumitomo was still in the planning stages, that asked what WE might think of the mayor's "dream" (read nightmare) of a "Silicon Desert"?

In looking through the documents, I was astounded by the continued use of the terms "fast track," "aggressive schedule," "guarantee." How in heaven's name could they seriously have asked for public input? We all know what would happen to the fast track if people wanted to scrutinize the wisdom of placing an industrial facility in a residential area.

We members of the coalition are not against the company trying to build a factory in Phoenix. However, we were here first and we resent this industrial plant being ramrodded into our residential neighborhood without any serious effort being made to get our opinion, because, obviously, most of the people would oppose it.

Instead, the officials gave the absolute minimum notification required: posting in the City Page of the Arizona Republic and those little signs at several street corners in the vicinity (the ones that you pass and literally have to find someplace to park your car, get out, bend down and read before you have any idea what it says).

The area where the factory is being constructed was originally planned as residential and commercial (which usually means shops, offices, etc.), and for a golf course. That's what the map showed; that's what everyone was led to believe--why would we suspect otherwise?

Shouldn't the city's decision to create a new Silicon Valley in Desert Ridge have been splashed all over the media? If this project is so good for the area, as officials are now most eager to proclaim, why didn't they present it to us--BEFORE they approved it in their hush-hush manner--to see if we agreed?

Liane Waselus
Phoenix

I am a former member of Desert View Tri Planning and live in Desert Ridge Village. I attended the meetings about Sumitomo last fall. I think that Nelson Robb Duval & DeMenna has done a terrific job with public relations for Sumitomo, presenting the facts.

Many of us are in favor of Sumitomo. We don't live in Paradise Valley Village where most of the turmoil is. Last fall, I was the only citizen in the audience when Desert View Tri voted on Sumitomo.

I have a beautiful "For Sumitomo" hat. I didn't see a photograph of that hat, but New Times shows the opposition's tee shirts. I never met the officials from Sumitomo until they came to our meetings and presented their programs by invitation.

Martha McNamara
Phoenix

Lobe Blows
Did Dan Harkins really change that much ("Lobe, American Style," Dewey Webb, July 25)? From his picture, he looks like he sort of knows what's going on--except for the jacket. Dan, please!

Pierced ears on guys: Who notices? Hey, we have pierced lips and noses and various places to stare at now. What's an ear? And don't you wonder, Dan, how they eat popcorn with a pierced tongue? Oops, sorry, got carried away there with pierced places.

Come on, get serious, let the guys wear pierced earrings. I'm sure, Dan, the management at Herberger Theater Center, theatre for the arts I might add, would never have thought to have that no-earring policy.

Ellen Tallabas
Phoenix

I am disappointed with Dewey Webb's article about the pierced-earring policy for male employees at Harkins Theatres. Nobody, not even the liberal press, has any right to run someone else's business by proxy. Meddling is not reporting.

Dan Harkins can tell his employees what, and what not, to do. He buys their time; his employees sell their time.

I admit, I don't like self-mutilation on men or women, and as a customer, I am likely to be discouraged or disgusted by an outlandishly outfitted employee. That means the business loses money. Call me a bigot, homophobe, racist. I don't care. I should not, as a paying consumer, have to deal with weirdos. Nuff said!

Charles Doane
via Internet

In response to Kurt Havelock's August 1 letter, what he claims to be discrimination based on sex, and a criminal offense under Title VII, is not! Employers have all the rights if they don't like an employee's appearance. And that is the issue with the longhair guys--not that the employees are males. I sympathize, believe me, and was on my own rampage many times after being fired or told to "fix" my ever-changing hair color a few years back.

Karena Titmarsh
via Internet

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