Barring Good Sense, Arguing Good Taste

Letters from the week of July 25, 2002

Belly Up to the Bar

Cause and effect: I couldn't help but read Amy Silverman's feature on disbarred Phoenix attorney Gary Peter Klahr ("Old Glory," July 4). I did so because I have had the fortune (or misfortune) to experience his presence firsthand.

Ms. Silverman may have attempted to present an objective view of Mr. Klahr, but she fell well short of objectivity. Instead, it appeared that the author of the article was trying to solicit sympathy for Mr. Klahr.

To Ms. Silverman, as well as some others, it appears that Gary Peter Klahr is a champion for juveniles. Through my experience with this man, I have witnessed him misrepresent his juvenile clients and paint a very negative picture of their behavior. Is that the conduct of a champion of juveniles?

As far as I'm concerned, Mr. Klahr champions causes, not people, except himself. When it comes to himself, Mr. Klahr is an unabashed self-promoter who rambles on and on in the courtroom, repeating himself several times.

I do agree with Ms. Silverman on one count — Mr. Klahr is an intelligent man. That is what is so very sad about his situation. He has the intelligence, but lacks common sense. Why didn't he follow up on those cases he subcontracted to other attorneys? Why didn't he contact the clients to make sure they were being properly represented?

Gary Peter Klahr threw away a 35-year-long legal career because he lacks the managerial and organizational skills to properly handle his case load and his office. He has himself to blame for his predicament, not the State Bar of Arizona or the Arizona Supreme Court.

Mr. Klahr can apply for reinstatement in five years. The assertion by Ms. Silverman and Joey Walker (Klahr's paralegal) is that because of Mr. Klahr's health, he may never again be allowed to practice as an attorney. That is up to him. He needs to take these next five years to develop a healthier lifestyle and to go back to school and learn how to become a better manager and develop organizational skills.

Glen Chern
Mesa

Picture perfect: Kevin Scanlon's cover photo of a flag-wrapped Gary Peter Klahr was inspiring! Once again, New Times reminded me of what it means to be an American.

In these trying post-9/11 days, politicians are required to spend an ever-increasing portion of their valuable time proclaiming their fervent patriotism. It's a burden that must detract from their duties as public servants. Perhaps our politicos should emulate a custom of ancient Rome and don togas during their candidacy and terms of office. Not the brilliant white togas of the past, but togas made from our nation's flag. They could proclaim their seriousness, and patriotism, without ever opening their mouths. What a boon it would be to U.S. flag manufacturers. What an edifying spectacle for our children. Without a doubt, our nation's enemies would tremble at the sight. Forget the Republican party, the Democrats and the Greens, let all Americans unite in the Toga Party.

Roberta Graham
Phoenix

Raw Nerve

Rawk on!: Okay. Here goes. First let me take a deep, centering breath, breathing in love, peace, joy and compassion. Ahh, breathing out all negativity. That's better.

Carey Sweet, I consider myself fortunate that you even know of the existence of the Rawsome! Cafe ("Severe Grain Damage," June 27). Rawsome! exists on a shoestring with no advertising budget, yet we carry on with self-made fliers in health-food stores and by word of mouth.

Not having read your reviews before since I rarely dine at SAD (Standard American Diet) eateries, I can only assume that your writing style is reminiscent of the late Erma Bombeck and a bit tongue-in-cheek. I applaud your efforts to actually attempt a raw food diet yourself and even your terse overview study of the subject matter. I still love you and hope that your job as a restaurant critic will not have too deleterious an effect on your health and diet.

(Wo)man is what s/he eats. Perhaps your seemingly cold, callous, vindictive attitude is related to something you ate, like the cow that gave its life for that big, juicy burger you mentioned. Maybe that's the key. All those negative thoughts and toxins that went into that cow's cells as it waited to be slaughtered are now in you. Perhaps you are not totally at fault here. Thanks for promoting our cafe, our local raw community and our lifestyle. Maybe writing this column for New Times is just a job to you; however, to us raw fooders, diet and nutrition are of utmost importance.

Raw foodists generally realize that, for most people, the idea of giving up cooked food is something they have never heard of, much less considered, and sounds absurd on the face of it! After all, we all grew up on cooked food, right? To most, even upon hearing the potential benefits, the worry is too real and the challenge too great. If you asked a smoker which s/he would rather give up, smoking cigarettes or eating cooked food, what answer do you think you'd get? And remember, nicotine is a major addiction.

We humans, in our physical form, cannot stand still; when new information and/or knowledge are presented, we either progress forward or we fall back. Such is the case here. Raw, living foods will not appeal to everyone, and that's okay. Taste is an acquired habit. The things many people have been conditioned to believe taste good — high salt content, fat and sugar — actually have devastating effects on health and contribute significantly to high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other degenerative diseases.

With the veil that is currently being lifted that blinds us to the truth and our true nature, our sense and understanding of reality is beginning to unravel. Hence, the current scandals involving the Catholic Church, 9/11, Enron and, most recently (at least since I wrote this), WorldCom. Might the veil over what we choose to put on and into our bodies be lifting as well? I believe it is. Rawk on!

Thankfully, your review does a tremendous service to all those in New Times Land who recognize these facts and now give them a new "safe harbor." Whether your readers ever come to Rawsome! is secondary to their newfound awareness to what is bringing them their poor health, low energy levels, lack of clarity and dis-ease.

Remember, Carey, you are what you eat, think and say. I also believe the words one chooses reflect the current state and feelings of his or her heart and soul. I pray you find a path out of the muck and mire you apparently now find yourself in.

We are bringing people together who care about their health and nutrition. Some of them have beaten cancer, diabetes and other degenerative and debilitating diseases and illnesses. And, yes, some of them may appear to you, an outsider, as skinny, unhealthy, whatever. We must each choose our own path. We won't judge or condemn you. Please give us the same respect. So enjoy your big, juicy burger, your couch, your hospital and pharmaceutical bills, etc. Our paths may differ, but we still love and respect you and your given right to choose.

The bottom line is: Grow your own garden or at least buy locally grown, organic produce, read labels, become more aware and take control of your own food choices, eating habits and lifestyle.

Rawsome! offers people a choice in the Valley, where it's very difficult to find vegetarian items on restaurant menus, let alone organic raw foods. Thank goodness there is now an establishment here catering to those discerning consumers who choose uncooked, organic, vegan (no dairy or animal products) fare as their food of choice. Maybe there is hope for this world and our planet after all.

Charles Thomas Mort
Proprietor, Rawsome! Cafe
Phoenix

Animal Lust

The naked truth: It's just as well, I suppose, that the naked animal activist stood up her date, naked and otherwise (although I would like to have seen that strip show) ("Naked Jungle," Spiked, July 11). Now, me — I like to keep my PETA in my pants.

Robert Stevens
Phoenix

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