Good luck finding an attorney or a government agency to represent the tenant. You'd better have money up front, and lots of it. Government agencies will tell you you must pay rent, regardless of services and repairs not received.

Name withheld

Something's Rotten
How strange that since Sumitomo Sitix started operating in northeast Phoenix ("Sabotage at Sitix?", Tony Ortega, August 28), the people there have been smelling foul odors like rotten eggs and seeing what looks like colored smoke coming out of its emitting stacks.

Even before Sumitomo Sitix officially opened, the Phoenix Fire Department hazardous-material team had been stationed there, monitoring the chemical spills and accidents that are continuously happening.

With all Sumitomo Sitix's chemical spills and air-permit violations, why hasn't any governmental agency closed the company down? If you or I ran a business that way, these agencies, who are supposed to work for the good of the people, would have shut us down long ago. So why is Sumitomo Sitix still operating?

Mathilda Friskes

Royal Pain
Regarding Barry Graham's verbose tirade against Princess Diana ("Absence of Palace," September 4), what message, exactly, is this writer trying to convey to the reader--that he is jealous of Diana because he grew up not having the opportunity to marry into royalty?

First Graham bashes Mary Rose Wilcox; now it is Princess Diana. Who's next, Mother Teresa? Was she a "media whore," too?

Talk about sour grapes. Graham's column can be summed up in one word: meow! Why doesn't Graham go back to the ghetto of Maryhill (Scotland), where such written diatribe would be indigenous?

John Parker

Barry Graham is such a waste of valuable ad space. Where's the point? Is New Times becoming just another tabloid?

Robert Joseph Akey

As a British citizen, resident in the USA and the Valley since March 1997, I find Barry Graham's "article" to be not only downright offensive but wildly inaccurate, so let's try to put the record straight.

First, Graham states that "in the late '70s through the late '80s, Great Britain was in a state of economic recession." This is simply not the case. Yes, in the late '70s and early '80s, the British economy was in a mess, as a result of five years of Socialist (mis)government by Britain's Labour party. However, after the election of a conservative government under Margaret Thatcher, the '80s saw a revitalization of Britain's economy with the attraction of foreign investment and the growth of new technologies.

Second, Graham describes the Prince of Wales as "a weak-chinned, glassy-eyed, big-eared simpleton" who "went parachute-jumping and made ignorant political comments." Okay, so Prince Charles is no rocket scientist, but at least he proved his guts through military service, and his comments on the state of modern art have more in common with the views and attitudes of the majority of the British public than the antiestablishment drivel that Graham produces.

Third, Graham refers to Princess Diana as "a media whore." Though not personally a staunch royalist, and especially not a great admirer of Princess Diana, I find the use of the word "whore" the most offensive item in the whole article. For sure, Diana knew how to use the media, but so do the likes of Barry Graham and New Times, who use this sort of sensationalism to increase circulation and, therefore, presumably, sell more advertising.

Finally, Graham states, "Her death is certainly a tragedy . . . but it isn't catastrophic . . . There are real catastrophes, things we should be crying about and praying for an end to." Finally, something Graham and I agree upon. However, whilst he just echoes shallow platitudes like this, Princess Diana, whatever her motivation, drew the world's attention to the suffering of AIDS victims, leprosy and the proliferation of land mines.

I find myself wondering what Graham's motives in writing this column were, but perhaps, considering the emphasis he puts on his own British heritage and that 10,000 British citizens live in the Valley, he merely wishes to see how many of the other 9,999 he can offend. For myself, not only will I not be reading New Times again, but I will specifically not give my patronage to anyone advertising in your "esteemed" publication, and would encourage anyone else feeling disgusted by this column to do likewise.

Tony Parkinson

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