Letters

Corrections
The August 1 story "A Cop on the Beat" described a Phoenix Police Officer James Gibbs as having been fired from the force the then reinstated by the Phoenix Civil Service Board. The article stated that he now works for the drug enforcement bureau.

Officer James W. Gibbs, Badge No. 4128, does in fact work for the drug enforcement bureau, but he has never been disciplined in his 14 years on the force.

A different officer, James L. Gibbs, Badge No. 5317, was fired from the department in 1993 after his arrest for domestic violence and other offenses. He was subsequently reinstated by the Civil Service Board but was fired again in 1995, following additional violations, and was not reinstated.

A photo of Jimmie Vaughan was included in the August 1 issue in conjunction with the Fabulous Thunderbirds' performance as part of the House of Blues Barnburner Tour 1996. Vaughn is no longer affiliated with the Thunderbirds. New Times regrets the error.

Give a Hoot
That was a nice run on the Southwest Center for Biological Diversity ("Owl See You in Court," Michael Kiefer, August 1). Michael Kiefer seemed to hit the nail on the head; this is a hard-core crew that does whatever it takes to slow Arizona eco-cide.

Somebody smarter than I once said, "History always honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers." No doubt even J.D. Hayworth's grandchildren will be singing the praises of these folks' vision. See you in the underground.

Tom Miller
Phoenix

Noise in the 'hood
Oh, God forbid that local people should give a damn about their neighborhoods ("Vigilence or Vigilantes?" August 8). Writer Betty Mihalopoulos starts off griping about a local resident telling a hooker (as in criminal) to get a real job, with the hooker replying that the resident should be complaining about "real criminals" like child molesters. As though the resident, not liking the idea of someone hustling on his street, automatically could not give a tinker's cuss about child molestation.

Neighbors on Patrol doesn't seem to be doing anything illegal or that the police can't or won't do in the same situation. One bar owner talks about a single confrontation with Neighbors on Patrol . . . try asking the same guy how many confrontations he's had with police, and I guarantee you it's more than one in the past year.

Neighbors on Patrol is clearly not about inciting violence, either, as the members are oriented toward observing and reporting--rather than trying to actively stop--crime. That there have been two confrontations in which Neighbors on Patrol members may have had their lives threatened is most likely because crack dealers don't like busybodies any more than they like rival gang members.

The writer's problem, from the tone of her article, is not that people are doing something to help the police stop crime in their neighborhoods--it is that they dare to wear those horrid, awful, baby-killing guns, that they dare to harass poor, honest hookers, and that they dare to do something that the state cannot--or will not--do for them. It sounds like Mihalopoulos is not at odds with the potential for violence, but for the potential of Neighbors on Patrol's success, as such success would disprove several of the extremist beliefs of liberals.

Scott Malcomson
via Internet

Editor's note: Mihalopoulos simply reported a dispute, giving Neighbors on Patrol and those who criticize the group the chance to make their points. And, frankly, Mr. Malcomson, people who protest vehemently about ideology where none is apparent look awfully silly calling others extremists.

Out of Order
I was not convinced by New Times' story about Judge Ramon Alvarez that he is bad ("It's My Courtroom, and I'll Try Like I Want To," John Dougherty, July 25). He may need some brushing up on his parliamentary procedures, but New Times did not produce an adequate volume of evidence that he is corrupt.

Two cases were discussed, both involving "drug-related offenses." One of these alleged offenses was "possession of paraphernalia."

I was left wondering if the problem is only between some zealous local prosecutors and a judge who is unwilling to play along with the corrupt politics surrounding this "Second Great Prohibition Crusade of the 20th Century."

D.H.
Phoenix

I was appalled at the hatchet job New Times did on the Honorable Ramon Alvarez. I was the defense attorney who was in chambers with Alvarez and deputy Cochise County attorney Edward Rheinheimer when the judge exclaimed, "Bullshit!" to Rheinheimer.

If New Times' "crack" investigative reporter had bothered to talk to all the parties involved, he would have discovered that Rheinheimer was completely out of line and came perilously close to contempt of court with his outrageously flippant attitude toward the court. Alvarez had warned Rheinheimer several times to stop contradicting him and to curb his animosity, to no avail. Finally, the judge told Rheinheimer to lay foundation by his rules. Instead of doing the proper thing and respectfully doing as the judge had ordered, Rheinheimer continued arguing, telling the judge he did not know the law. Then, completely frustrated, the judge said, "Bullshit--you'll do it my way."

As for the other case the "article" referred to, again Rheinheimer was completely flippant, arrogant and wrong as to the law. The rule of Exclusion, Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure 9.3(a), is very clear. Once the rule is invoked, NO witnesses may discuss testimony until after the rule has been lifted, or canceled. Rheinheimer knew or should have known the rule when he willfully violated it.

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