Ebon Appétit

No soul: I won't go into a rant or rave or try to use big words to prove my point. I'll keep it very simple: Do you guys ever go to black restaurants? I pick up New Times every week, and this week I'm looking in the Best of Phoenix (September 21), and I didn't see anything abo ut the best soul food. But I did find Best Place for a Grease-Soaked Hangover Breakfast, Best Place to Get Aroused While Waiting for Your Burro, Best Place to Take Your Harley to Dinner, etc. So I know you could have found a place in your 192-page Best of Phoenix to put a few soul-food restaurants. Black people do read New Times, and, amazingly enough, we also eat.

Tremayne J. Fontenot

Editor's note: Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe, an establishment that bills itself as a soul-food restaurant, was featured in the Best of Phoenix, under the heading "Best Place to Eat If You're Starting a Diet Tomorrow."

Penalty Flag

Coaches should quit: I played for current Scottsdale Community College football coaches Ken Giovando and Sanford Rodgers in 1990-91, when they were coaching at Phoenix College. Giovando and Rodgers were the offensive line coaches. I played on the offensive line.

Your story is right on the mark ("Speared," John Dougherty, September 14). Contrary to school policy, I was recruited out of the state of Illinois. Of the 80-man roster at Phoenix College, probably one-third were recruited from out of state. We had players from Florida, Illinois, New York, Nebraska and Indiana.

Although I never was a part of, nor did I witness, an act like the one you wrote about involving Jamie Warren at SCC, Giovando and Rodgers did encourage unsportsmanlike activity. Among other things, we were taught to chop-block our opponents (chop-blocking is when you block low and try to take out your opponent's knees); verbal taunting was encouraged. During the 1991 season, the Phoenix College/Snow College game ended much the same as it did for SCC in 1996. Five players were ejected and the game was called late in the fourth quarter. It was embarrassing.

Giovando and Rodgers should not be coaching. I have said this since playing for them. They are the epitome of what is wrong with sports. Their bullying and encouragement of unfair and unsportsmanlike play should stop.

Name withheld by request

Face the Music

On, vixen: Thank you, Bob Mehr, for "Oooooo Canada" (Bash & Pop, September 14). Some of your facetious comments really struck home, so I'd like to make some of my own comments. When it comes to Canadians, we should show them the same friendly attitude they show us. With their "Canadians first" policy, Americans have to spend money before working in that country. No matter how much they know their way around, local bands would get nowhere unless they had a Canadian in their employ first -- whether as booking agent, management, roadie, etc.

And in regard to the "News Tart," Claudia DiFolco, she seems to be window dressing to make a pathetically "unhip" TV station look good. In fact, she even looks as though a plastic surgeon formed her from the image created by some octogenarian moneybags who thought she was what a young woman should be like. With all that unhealthy crisp-fried skin, more layers of makeup than Queen Elizabeth I died in and mush for brains, she could very well make it into the next issue of Playboy. But when it comes to fitting into the Phoenix scene, DiFolco couldn't squeeze in if she took a bath in KY Jelly. She and her big-bucks bosses know absolutely nothing about the Phoenix scene, local talent or Phoenix and music in general.

Because she was new and different, though, we listened to her talking up lousy bands no one's ever heard of or raving about the wonders of clubs in Tempe and Scottsdale. Other media sources took note because it was so surprising that an outsider could break through the local good-ol'-boys barrier. Only the power of money can do that in a place where no one gets a chance to do or be anything without being "connected." Even the usually perceptive Brian Smith was taken with her ("I, Claudia," August 17). But his story needs to be taken with a grain of salt, because although Smith is a fine writer, he does have his quirks, one being an affinity for all things tawdry. On one page he'll write a sensitive piece with grace and aplomb, but turn the page and find one of his "bloodshot reviews" singing the praises of porn stars and ham-cam queens. And why not? He does tend to sink into a mire of smarminess every now and then. So it was with his piece on DiFolco.

I try to give KTVK the benefit of the doubt and not accuse it of conspiring to make Phoenix the cultural ghost town it's becoming. Granted, Tempe has the college and Scottsdale's got the money. Phoenix is still alive and kicking, but no one cares about supporting locals anymore. Even New Times, Phoenix-based, is sometimes guilty of giving too much attention outside our city.

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