Flying for Dollars
Thanks to Michael Lacey for his excellent column pointing out how William Franke, CEO of America West Airlines, tried to cover up how his firing of 500 mechanics led to his airline repeating the same errors in handling oxygen tanks that led to the ValuJet crash ("Deception and Denial at America West," September 26). As the state's largest consumer/environmental organization, Arizona Citizen Action has protested Franke's willingness to put profit before safety.

We published a report that covered ten CEOs nationally who collectively had laid off 138,000 workers from 1993-95, even as their companies earned more than $60 billion (that's billion with a "b") in pre-tax profits. Their reward for wrecking lives and jeopardizing their companies' products--$5.2 million on the average in annual salary, not counting higher potential earnings from stock options. That's $2,600 an hour! The same year Franke was laying off the mechanics, he paid himself $2 million. So if one of those America West planes crashes from a misplaced oxygen tank--unless justice is served and he is on that plane--Franke will have done very well by himself for those layoffs.

Jim Driscoll, state director
Arizona Citizen Action

I would like to ask Michael Lacey why he would even think of patronizing America West Airlines after the atrocious way it has treated its employees. Thank goodness for Southwest Airlines.

Wallace Cybulski

I do enjoy socializing, thus I read local publications to find out the latest events. However, I will not support or purchase any products advertised in New Times because of its blatant promotion of homosexual and lesbian matchmaking.

People who are sexually confused need assistance in overcoming their problems, not intensifying them. New Times' position on this issue may seem to be appropriate for the all-inclusive '90s, but in the long run it will prove to be detrimental to all of society.

I hope New Times will consider this in serious thought. I am informing family and friends to do likewise in not supporting New Times until its advertising of same-gender matchmaking is stopped.

Michael Brown

Editor's note: Good. We're always glad when bigots go away.

Get the Hook
If it wasn't for Robrt L. Pela's review, I would have gone on my ignorant way, believing I had enjoyed myself at Guv: The Emperor Strikes Back ("Emperor Strikes Out," September 19). I stayed for the whole show and had a good time. Despite the review's insights, I repeat a joke or two as I encourage friends to attend this play.

I hadn't realized that "cacophonous insults" had been "hurled" from the stage; must have missed me while I was enjoying the stereotypical humor. From Pela's comments about stereotypical images of minorities, I guess he missed the ones about everybody else. This play, like its predecessor, employs elements of farce and satire. The whole concept of this play came from the first one. Why wouldn't it steal from the first play?

If Pela was trying to say this isn't a perfect play, he's right. If Pela was trying to say this isn't New York or San Francisco, he's right. But if he's trying to say this play isn't worth seeing and enjoying, he's wrong. By the way, where did Pela see the other sequel to Guv? As far as I know, this is the sequel. But I guess he must be right, because he's the professional.

I always thought the only people paid for disemboweling were taxidermists, butchers and soldiers. Which makes me wonder: If theatre is the lifeblood of theatre critics, what will they do when they have killed their host?

Virginia C. Anders

Now You See'em...
I read with great interest the Best of Phoenix supplement (September 19), especially the Best Disappearing Act (from the Jams section). Tea & Sympathy hasn't really disappeared (though Peter Walker has left town). Three fifths of the original band has joined my band Shine. We've been writing and playing out for months.

Don't worry, we're still taller and have the longest hair. Our band, however, gets along. Maybe it's because I treat Joey, Scott and Eric as equals, and encourage creative contributions. The Valley music scene still has at least one "bone-crushing '70s act." We carry that torch quite high, and we rip Tea & Sympathy to shreds. One more thing: Beat Angels as Best-Dressed Band? Please! I've got more cool clothes than Lenny Kravitz, Chris Robinson and Rod Stewart put together!

Jason New

Regarding Best Place to Take Visitors From the Midwest in Best of Phoenix, please allow us a moment to remind New Times that Chicago is in the Midwest, and boasts some of the best restaurants and chefs in the world. Not to mention the best delis and ethnic foods available in the free world.

Also, Milwaukee is home to one of the best Italian villages in the country, and Elsa's on the Park, which is the big sister restaurant to Scottsdale's beloved AZ 88. We have been in Scottsdale for five years, and although we love it here, we cook at home a lot because Phoenix can't touch Midwestern fare!

Gina and Brian King

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