Open Season
I want to thank Barry Graham for saying in his column "Assailing" (August 21) what, I know now, I wasn't the only one thinking.

When I saw on the TV news that Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox had been shot in the buttock by a man angry for her role in bypassing the voters in the Bank One Ballpark sales tax, one word immediately came to mind: karma.

While I don't advocate violence, either, I think the member of the Libertarian party who was quoted in Graham's commentary was correct: Public officials who use their positions for personal gain and violate the rights of the people they are supposed to be serving should probably start wearing Kevlar underwear.

Robert Crook

I couldn't agree more with Barry Graham about Mary Rose Wilcox and her brand of politics. I agree with Graham 100 percent when he states that perhaps we all feel like shooting a politician--but of course we don't! I am personally tired of being screwed, and where is my threshold? Where is yours? Let's not let Jerry Colangelo off the hook. Yes, maybe he did bring sports to Arizona--big deal! I can't afford to go anyway. Who gets the good tickets? Yes, that's right, big money and politicians.

The point is that as long as our politicians continue to play the politics Mary Rose Wilcox plays, people pushed over the threshold like Larry Naman will continue to come out of the woodwork.

Please don't take my gun away--I may need it!
Mark Nelson
via Internet

As a regular reader of New Times, I never cease to be amazed at the journalistic narcissism that at times makes foolish an otherwise decent article.

The latest example of this is Barry Graham's recent piece, "Assailing," in which he belittles listeners of radio station KFYI-AM 910, particularly Bob Mohan's show, in which he states that these listeners are "bigoted know-nothings" who "have to be bigots by the time they tune in to his show, or they wouldn't be able to stomach it."

However, even though Narcissus was able to see his own reflection, Graham has been blinded by his. For Graham to be able truly to know what these listeners to KFYI are really like, he would have to be a regular listener himself and, therefore, also a "bigoted know-nothing."

And if he tries to weasel out of this self-inflicted paradox by claiming that he formed this opinion from other sources who fed him his information, then he is guilty of the same irresponsible journalism that he criticizes the Arizona Republic's David Leibowitz and E.J. Montini for--which just adds one more good reason to escape lousy journalism from time to time to find out what less self-infatuated fools have to say on so-called "hate" radio.

As a regular listener and caller to KFYI, I would like to tell Graham that there is a lesson to be learned by him in all of this. Bob Mohan and his listeners and his callers are probably not as dumb as Graham looks right now.


Sitix Slickers
After reading Tony Ortega's article about air-permit violations and internal sabotage at the Sumitomo Sitix silicon-wafer manufacturing plant in northeast Phoenix ("Sabotage at Sitix?", August 7), it seems to me that a factory this controversial would be extra conscientious about following all the rules to avoid further controversy--not screwing up at every opportunity.

Contrary to Sumitomo Sitix's constant claims that it is state-of-the-art, safe and clean, it is in fact seeming to be extremely lax and incompetent. Judging from the article, it appears that even when the Sumitomo Sitix people are under a microscope, they can't get it right.

Which leads to a disturbing question: Could they ever get it right? I'm sorry, but for the residents of northeast Phoenix, the trial-and-error method of management and operation is not going to cut it. If Sitix's current mode of operating is an example of things to come, not only does it have no business being located near people's homes--it has no business being located anywhere! It is no surprise that Sitix's incompetence has led to an investigation by County Attorney Rick Romley.

More than a year ago, I contacted Mayor Skip Rimsza's office, expressing my concern regarding this hazardous new factory. I was assured by one of Rimsza's aides that I needn't worry; everything would be clean and safe. Mayor Rimsza has only to examine the Sumitomo Sitix file at the Maricopa County Department of Environmental Services to see the true picture, and it is a frightening one of noncompliance and incompetence. If this evidence is not enough to convince him that this factory is far too dangerous to be located in this community, what's it going to take? Isn't it time for someone to step in on the side of the residents? Why is Rimsza so loyal to Sumitomo Sitix?

Liane Waselus, secretary
Citizens' Environmental Awareness League

In my opinion, referring to the Maricopa County Environmental Services Department (MCESD) as environmental watchdogs is about as believable as referring to Hitler as a humanitarian.

Why didn't MCESD go public back in July when the agency determined that Sitix was in violation of its air permits, as per Ortega's article? MCESD should come up to northeast Phoenix and explain why it did not inform the residents about the violations uncovered at that time. I remind the readers that the Sitix air permits were issued under bogus conditions and against the wishes of both the EPA and the hundreds of residents who attended the sham of a public hearing. Now it appears that even the EPA is implying that the MCESD-issued air-quality permit itself may be illegal!

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