Letters

From the week of August 16, 2001

Lynn Dunn

via Internet

Dogged Pursuit

Haight mail: I just finished the story titled "Legal Beagles" (James Hibberd, August 2). I am the person who first brought Dr. Haight's attention to the Berens research and have helped her over the last two years.

By not referring to "Dr. Haight" with her title you slighted and diminished her credibility and credentials as a trained research scientist. You biased the reader's perspective and were not accurate with your facts. Dr. Haight has documented and obtained material in a fashion that would make any investigative reporter proud and has the respect of many members of this community. Michael Berens, on the other hand, had a research project that Congressman John Shadegg asked for a moratorium on and a full review of because of the concerns regarding the project. ASU terminated the project, an almost unheard-of action, because of the serious animal welfare and research issues, and you referred to Berens as "a respected scientist struggling to create an animal model of a brain tumor" while calling "Dr. Haight" by her given name. Berens' struggle was self-generated because he refused to give up doing the same thing over and over with his patented procedure in favor of ASU recommendations, based on other successful researchers' efforts, that might have worked.

It is not okay and it violates scientific integrity to selectively report results and to misrepresent information in order to throw your work in the best light to get money from the federal government. Nobody is judging Dr. Berens because his research failed. Research fails. It is the misrepresentation of facts to get the money that is the problem. I say right on In Defense of Animals and Dr. Haight who, if the suit is won, will take part of the settlement to build a memorial with the name of each beagle puppy and dog that died in the canine glioma project.

Shaynie Aero
Phoenix

Straight Dope

Gay abandon: In David Ehrenstein's review of Big Eden ("Northern Composure," August 2), he makes the comment: "For any gay man who has ever been strung along by a straight buddy whose emotional demands were greater than his ability to translate into action, this rings frighteningly true."

By his review (and maybe he did not clearly portray the movie), he states that the straight friend "by no means was gay," but it was just a friendship, although the straight friend did count on his friend for emotional support. Two straight guys often rely on each other for emotional support without worrying about "stringing each other on." Why should it be any different if one of the guys is gay? The gay community screams that it wants to be treated the same, but if by befriending a gay man I need to worry that I might be stringing him along if I treat him the same as I do a straight friend, I cannot treat the two the same. It is not the straight guy's fault if the other guy has unrealistic (in most cases) wishes that his friend might change his sexual preference. Unfortunately, ignorant comments like the one in the review will make a lot of guys less likely to befriend a gay man.

Name withheld by request

Attention, Shoppers

The comida store: I saw your excellent article on Southwest Supermarkets and the carnicerias ("Meet Market," Edward Lebow, August 2). Having shopped in the Hispanic markets for many years, I would say the concerns over Southwest by the neighborhood leaders are understandable (I had my own when I heard it was moving into the Seventh Street ABCO), yet on the whole Southwest has improved its stores. Yesterday I was in the store at 32nd Street and McDowell, and the produce section was much improved. The tomatoes and fruit were fresh, yet ripe. I think it is worth giving them a chance. I have not yet tried the 16th Street and Buckeye store and did not know it had an in-store tortilleria. I will try it, though; one of the reasons our family goes to Food City two to three times a week is the excellent tortillas they make. They have no preservatives so they don't keep for a long time like the commercial products (which taste like cardboard), but we often score tortillas fresh off the press.

The carnicerias are another thing. The many that are clean offer a unique service not available elsewhere, even at Southwest or Food City. Once I witnessed a butcher at an upscale Safeway at 32nd Street and Camelback abruptly tell a customer that the meat could not possibly be cut as thin as she wanted. The Mexican butchers at the carnicerias do this easily by hand every day!

Kitty Lopez
Phoenix

Supermarket sweep: I have been to several Southwest markets, and some that I've been to have been dirty, smelled like rotting fish, while others have been clean. I have indeed purchased food products that were out of date in the stores that were dirty. I am an Anglo, but have no problems with buying Hispanic products/food. I have also been in some Anglo-run establishments that were far worse than any Southwest market.

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