Letters

He Ain't Heavy
In his review of Heavy ("Chunk Style," September 19), M. V. Moorhead says that writer-director James Mangold "opens the book." Mangold has indeed opened a book: John Gardner's novel Nickel Mountain, from which Heavy filches its setting, premise and even the name of its leading female character.

Moorhead isn't alone; such nationally known critics as Gene Siskel, Roger Ebert and Terrence Rafferty, not to mention the film-festival jurors at Cannes and Sundance, have praised Heavy, unaware of Gardner's novel or the 1985 film that was based on it.

For his next project, Mangold might consider a film about Abraham Lincoln, with special emphasis on Lincoln's remark about fooling all of the people some of the time.

Christopher Hawthorne
Phoenix

M. V. Moorhead responds: Good call. I glanced at Nickel Mountain, which I had never heard of, after reading your letter. It seems like a pretty good book, and the similarities with Heavy which you cite are undeniable. They fall short of what I would call flat-out plagiarism, but not by much.

If James Mangold cribbed John Gardner, he should certainly be called on it; still, I stand by what I said in the review--on its own terms, Heavy is an awfully well-done film.

Silicon Job
I attended a Sumitomo meeting to educate the local people about its new plant ("Silly Con Valley," Tony Ortega, September 26). They showed us a beautiful rendition of the factory, but neglected to include the ten smokestacks 72 feet high. They spoke about how wonderful the factory will be for our neighborhood, but neglected to tell us about the hydrofluoric acid--that EPA calls a highly hazardous material--which will be used and transported along our streets.

They did tell us about phases I and II and plans for phases III, IV and V, but neglected to tell us about the large amounts of water each phase will use or that New Mexico turned Sumitomo away because of that water use. They neglected to tell the people about the tax breaks Sumitomo is getting, the $2.5 million our schools will lose because of its deal with the Land Department, or that Oregon voted down tax incentives when Sumitomo wanted to build there.

We, the people, do want the truth. The only place I see the truth is with the Coalition of Valley Citizens Opposed to Sumitomo.

Mathilda Friskes
Phoenix

I call this "Big Al's ABCDs":
"A" is for "appalled." My reaction to the performance of Sumitomo-Sitix, the city of Phoenix, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Frances Emma Barwood and Mayor Skip Rimsza in the scandalous Sumitomo affair.

"B" is for "breathe." I do not want to breathe air pollutants from large industrial smokestacks at the Sumitomo site.

"C" is for "courageous." The strong beliefs and courage depicted by the northeast Phoenix residents who have stood up to fight this injustice and declare that it is wrong.

"D" is for "dismayed." My reaction to the vast numbers of northeast Phoenix residents who privately do not want this industrial plant near them, but whose apathy prevents them from doing anything about it.

Albert W. Mercado
Phoenix

The Meter's Running
Regarding "Joe's Slush Fund" (Tony Ortega, September 19):
The seven seas surround us like a moat
Just north of South Mountain's northern slope
With ever increasing crime we could not cope
And then along came Joe

Peaved at having lost the war on dope
He headed west to take the test and hope
To be elected sheriff of county Maricope
His tough-guy reputation in tow

Four years have passed since his keynote
His reach and power have both increased
in scope
Autographed pink undies have gotten
out the vote
It's just this that we'd like to know

There seems to be this misplaced poke
A hundred thou or so and that's no joke
With county money some say he did elope
Where did all the money go?
John Thomas Munsey
Madison Street Jail
Phoenix

Lisa Allen wrote, "I hasten to remind the writers and editors at New Times that the allegations made . . . under editor's note are just that--allegations" (Letters, September 12). Fortunately, New Times is not afraid to speak out. I am an inmate in the Madison Street Jail. I think it's my duty as a human being to let the public know the facts.

The heartless and inhumane detention officers blatantly, on a daily basis, go out of their way to humiliate and physically and psychologically abuse inmates. They use stun guns and pepper spray on human beings, most of whom are charged with petty offenses.

There are those who approve of Joe Arpaio's get-tough approach on criminals. Someday it will be one of their children or a family member who is killed or seriously abused by the detention officers at one of the county's inhumane jails, then they will wish that someone had done something to stop the abuse.

Using the violation of people's rights to gain publicity is wrong and should be stopped. Arpaio's publicity stunts are at the cost of human dignity and respect. Just because I am an inmate does not mean that I don't have rights. I don't deserve to have my rights violated and to be humiliated on a continuous basis. Tell the parents of Scott Norberg that their son's death is not a fact!

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