Jailhouse Shock

Letters from the week of March 28, 2002

I fervently hope that your continued interest in the events at the Phoenix Zoo will prompt more humane treatment of the caged animals in the future. As in all instances, what we are seeing are the results of pure ignorance on the part of the employees! But the real shame rests on the shoulders of those in charge, for not giving better educational tools.

Mrs. James T. Cassell
Via e-mail

Rattling the cage: I just read your article on the Phoenix Zoo animals, and the apparent treatment thereof, and am extremely concerned. Thank you for bringing this topic to light.

The feeding schedules the handlers set for that poor animal were appalling and make no sense to me. It appears they basically starved the animal because it wasn't performing for them.

Please continue to follow up on this matter, as I and I am sure thousands of others are concerned for the treatment of these poor animals.

Scott Rennard

Sad state of affairs: This article made me so sad. I am still crying. What can I do to help expose this, and is there anything we can do to help stop such animal cruelty in the Valley? Thank you for being brave and writing this.

Cristiana Joy Wiley

Animal crackers: Kudos for letting us know that Tinkerbell the porcupine did not "go gentle into that good night."

Requiescant in pace, Ruby, the painting pachyderm, beloved Tinkerbell and all the other mammalian "World Trade Center-esque" casualties of zoo terrorism.

Dr. Masibindi Mother Courage

Smoke Signals

Somebody should file a complaint: I read your article regarding Rural/Metro with great interest ("Burned," Amy Silverman, February 14). We are parents of a firefighter who has been with that company for more than 20 years. We have seen his disappointment and shock as to what is going on in that company, and are appalled that the state has not gotten in on it. What he thought was a nest egg for his children's education and retirement for him and his family has flown out the window. You really told it like it is and I applaud you. Enough of all these cover-ups!

Millie Welsh
Via e-mail

Politics as usual: Thanks for "Burned" by Amy Silverman, and the letter "Fire Storm" by a former Rural/Metro employee (Letters, February 28). In the debate on electric deregulation in the mid-'90s, Rural/Metro was cited as an example of how privatization of a "public good" worked well. Now we know that faltering Rural/Metro -- like so many of these examples -- was built on low wages for the firefighters and plundering by the executives.

After the plundering of Enron, Ralph Reed (formerly of the Christian Coalition) said he was treated right by Enron, and the Secretary of the Treasury said that was the way capitalism was supposed to work. Really. Executives plundering and the rank and file left with nothing?

In the Year of Our Deregulated Lord 2002, one can laugh about Enron not being a "political scandal" despite all those political contributions and the hiring of political types like Reed and James Baker and the deregulation of electric generation and the energy futures market and the "derivatives" market, etc.

When an idea is proven so wrong, one would think it would disappear in shame, rather than still be pushed by these free-market theologues -- whether in basic health care, K-12 education, electricity, water, or fire and police protection.

Roland James

Visiting Vincent's

Crowded out: I am pleased that restaurant reviewer Carey Sweet recognized that, at least in part, Vincent's restaurant was overwhelmed by the crush of Valentine holiday diners ("Oop du Jour," February 28). I wish, though, that restaurants noted for outstanding food and attentive service would refuse reservations beyond the number that can be accommodated in their signature style. It is not fair to diners or staff to be put in the impossible position of trying to serve 500 meals in a setting designed to support 200.

In the end, though, if we diners insist on cramming ourselves, along with 26 other people, into an automobile built to carry four, we had better be prepared to exit wearing red rubber noses.

Sheila Dickson
Paradise Valley

Baseball Fever

Put me in, coach: I agree with Michele Laudig's assessment on the value of the Cactus League baseball experience ("A League of Our Own," Night & Day, February 21). An afternoon in the sun is the ideal spring fever cure. Take your "medicine" now, as most games at Bank One Ballpark are indoors. In terms of monetary value, there is an exception. The last two preseason games at BOB vs. the Chicago Cubs are at full season price! These are exhibition games!

This is fan exploitation at its worst. Why ruin Arizona's spring tradition of a fun-in-the-sun experience that is affordable for residents and tourists alike?

Joe P. Hutchinson

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