From the week of May 27, 1999

The Republic, is a disgrace. We call it the "Arizona Repulsive," and have long canceled our subscription.

M. Farooque
via Internet

Unwise Crack
I hope David Holthouse's letter to Cris Kirkwood ("Lake of Fire," House, April 29) has some positive effect, though we all know that drugs are oftentimes more powerful than any emotional or physical plea. The letter was well-written and should be sent to any punk who starts fucking around with crack and smack, thinking that it's a cool way to get indie cred, or whatever propels kids to fuck with that shit. Thanks for taking the time to care enough--messages like yours are hard to read, but their importance is unfortunately very real.

Jules Sears
San Francisco, California

Ice Squad
Just read Paul Rubin's fantastic article on the Coyotes and the NHL ("A Season on the Rink," April 22). As usual, superbly done. I myself am a journalism student, and I learn so much reading Rubin's work. I would like to thank him for giving the people of Phoenix some quality.

With all due respect, since I am a diehard hockey fan who takes very seriously how the game is portrayed in the press, I must point out some errors in that article:

1. Bobby Smith scored the game-winning goal in game five, not game seven, of the 1986 Stanley Cup finals. (He could not have scored in game seven because the finals went only five games in 1986.)

2. Referee Paul Stewart's first game back in the NHL after suffering cancer was February 12, 1999, in a game between the Washington Capitals and the New Jersey Devils at the Meadowlands, not on Sunday, February 14, as the Coyotes PR people claimed, and as you reported. You can easily check this out by calling the NHL office. The Coyotes' PR people, although Kuperman is a good guy, are wrong a lot as well.

3. Ruslan Salei is not a "tough Russian defenseman." He was born in Minsk, in Belarus. I think Mr. Salei would resent being labeled a Russian.

As far as Bob McManaman being an "excellent" reporter, I must disagree. McManaman is infamous with hockey fans for his constant errors--especially prevalent in his "NHL Insider" column where he once said that Bill Muckalt and Brendan Morrison were U.S.-born players: Both were born and raised in British Columbia, Canada. This is just one example of his penchant for errors and misinformation. I understand your position, however.

John Power

I just wanted to say thanks for the articles you did on the Coyotes this year. I think it is truly the first piece of journalism that communicates the reality of a hockey season, and the heart these guys play with.

Personally, in this age of ridiculous contracts and super-agents, I believe that hockey players are a dying breed: They play because they truly love the game. And they take time out for the fans. Hockey players know where those salary dollars are coming from, and they give it right back to us.

I can only hope that more of the bigger sports rags read this and follow your lead. And I sincerely hope our beloved Coyotes will stay here in Phoenix, and will stay intact for another season. I cried my eyes out after that game seven, mainly because of pride. It made me so happy to see those fans cheering and clapping; they obviously recognized the effort those players put in and wanted the players to know it, too. JR saluting the crowd will be a memory I have in my heart (and on tape!) for a very long time.

Becky Juan

I just want to thank you for supporting the Phoenix Coyotes with your article in the May 13 New Times ("Reporter's Notebook," Paul Rubin). It is rather refreshing to see that someone actually appreciates the efforts of these men and doesn't play armchair critic.

The lack of support for the professional sports teams in our state never ceases to amaze me. I am so sick of, "Well, you know that I've always been a Coyotes (Cardinals, Suns, Diamondbacks) fan!" Yeah, when they are winning and are in the spotlight!

Doesn't it seem that there is an unusual amount of bandwagon fans in this state? Nah, just my imagination!

Thanks once again for your words of encouragement for the efforts of probably the only true athletes left in the world of sports today. Here's to Bobby Smith giving these guys one more chance!

R. Bradfield
via Internet

Aims Test
I am writing in regard to Barbara Blackford's May 6 comments about David Holthouse's yellow journalism ("Clip Joint," House, April 22).

It seems inconsistent that a lot of our citizenry and New Times in particular do a lot of indignant hand-wringing about police brutality and government conspiracies, yet at the same time encourage laws that would give these same entities an exclusive on deadly force.

Our president claims 600,000 felons have attempted and been denied firearm purchases by the Brady Bill. How many of these have been prosecuted for it? I read someplace that it was like three; kinda makes me wonder if the 600,000 ever really existed at all. But the FBI is keeping computerized records on all gun purchasers, in direct violation of the Brady Bill and the 1968 Gun Control Act. So they refuse to prosecute criminals but are creating and maintaining files on law-abiding citizens!

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