Raising -- Arizona Style
"VisionQuest and Boys Ranch claim lower recidivism rates for kids. . . . Studies . . . seem to bear them out."

This one paragraph in your article ("Business AZ Usual," Chris Farnsworth, August 6) says it all.

These are children who will be murdering, raping, assaulting and thieving from us. Then we will support them in prison at $20,000-plus per year.

If those studies are correct, a lot of innocent people will live unmolested lives because of the operation of Arizona Boys Ranch. We should do everything we can to help it survive and prosper.

John Huppenthal
Arizona State Senator

Mom vs. Mom
Until recently I respected New Times for its investigative reports and educational articles, especially the ones praising people who do good for others. Now I burn it as trash.

Your story "Working Mom" (Brian Smith, July 30) about the porn starlet is mainstream trash. I am disgusted by Nikki Lynn, and hope that her children and their friends figure out what she does. How can this airbrushed makeup queen with implants call herself a mother? Women have enough crap to overcome to gain respect, and this makes me sick. If the people of Kingman have any sense at all, they will run Nikki Lynn and her husband out of town. They've made a mockery out of the value of marriage.

Every copy I see of this trash I've picked up and had a bonfire with. Women have such low esteem levels today because we feel less than desirable to our men because they put these nasty women on pedestals. How dare New Times sink to this level. I'm a 22-year-old, stay-at-home, full-time mother who can't believe you would allow your publication to advertise her movies and magazines and call her a mom! I've supported my kids and my man before without laying on my back, as millions of other moms do daily. You probably won't print this because you don't have the guts to give the real mothers a pat on the back and say, "You're the ones who deserve our thanks and praise."

An Angry True "Mom"

Thank you so much for Brian Smith's splendid article. It is so refreshing to see a mainstream publication approaching what is truly a mainstream industry with fairness and without making silly judgments. It is a shame that porn and feminism are still assumed to be mortal enemies, especially with brilliant sex-positive feminists like Susie Bright in the world, but with more articles like this one, that may have a chance to change. I mean, if making a few grand for having sex is exploitation of women, surely cleaning toilets for a living must be. All hail the three-minute pop song, and the inalienable right to do whatever makes you happy, pays well and hurts nobody for living.

Shireen Liane
London, England

Mom vs. Gilbert
I have just finished reading Gilbert Garcia's column regarding Zia Enterprises Inc. (Soundcheck, July 30), and again I was offended. His column was full of misinformation. He obviously does not take the time to investigate, but writes whatever hearsay as gospel.

Most loyal employees refuse to speak to Mr. Garcia as he constantly misquotes or quotes out of context.

He has never met either of my two sons--Brad or Wayne--yet he considers himself an authority on their behavior.

There are many facets and situations involved at the present time, and making Wayne his scapegoat only again proves his lack of interest in investigating the true facts.

Ordinarily, I would have ignored the column as a Right of Journalism, but his continued negativism regarding my family cannot be ignored.

Lynn Singer

Gilbert Garcia responds: It seems that Lynn Singer is the one who has not taken the time to investigate the facts. She assumes that I never met her son Brad, when in fact I knew him quite well.

She also assumes that most "loyal" Zia employees refused to speak to me. In fact, almost everyone I contacted willingly told me about their deep concerns, but because they were understandably afraid for their own futures, they didn't want their names used. Steve Wiley wanted to discuss his situation, but was advised not to by his lawyer. Ultimately, the only person who was uncooperative was Wayne Singer, the person in the best position to explain all the "facets and situations" at Zia.

I understand the pain that Brad's death has brought to his entire family, and I would never want to be callous about it. But I also know that it is Brad's friends who are most upset and worried by the current shakeups at Zia, and if a company he worked so long and hard to build is being ripped apart, that's a story that must be addressed.

Gun Effect
After citing, "in 1996, two people in New Zealand were killed by handguns. . . . And, in America, 9,390," Barry Graham's "Pistol Whipped" (July 23) adopts the reasoning that the U.S. can't get rid of guns like the other industrial democracies (after the Tasmania killings, even Australia, with its Wild West attitude, has gotten rid of many guns), so let's all get locked and loaded. Even the NRA itself doesn't permit the packing of heat at its own convention. Yet, facing a slumping market in the U.S., the NRA and gun manufacturers are trying to drum up interest in guns among women and among children as young as 10. The NRA president declares in an ad: "My major priority is to reach out to America's youth." Does the NRA really believe that fifth graders should be armed, though their parents can't be armed at the NRA convention? And, if not the kids, how about the teachers? Would that stop school shootings? Or increase them?

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