Letters from the week of July 31, 2003

 Our Town

Philadelphia story: I for one thought when I read the cover of New Times this week -- "Robrt Pela compares notes with that Philly columnist who dissed Phoenix" -- you were really going to lay into Don Russell and give him many of the reasons we Phoenicians are proud to live here. But instead, your interview only fueled his ideas that we are nothing more than a hick town ("Brotherly Love Fest," Speakeasy, July 24).

You do hint at a few points, aiming for sarcasm that maybe Russell didn't catch upon, but your responses to some of his questions such as "What about the Ostrich Festival in Chandler" and "It's a dry heat" are tired, old answers that make Phoenix sound like a little Podunk town in the Midwest. It didn't seem to me that you were defending our fine city, only agreeing with Russell about how shitty our school system is and how it never cools here during the entire year. It's beautiful eight months out of the year here; it's not Hell on Earth as Russell describes it to be and yet you don't defend us by retorting a "try being here in February, 72 degrees is a nice number."

I didn't care much for the interview. I did read between the lines, as vague as the message was, but it's obvious that Don Russell didn't. Maybe that was your intention, "professional courtesy" and all.

Don Russell is a jackass, and I hope he stays in Philly and never visits our beautiful city. We don't need his stink polluting our Valley. Referring to us as the "Cher Capital of the World" is the dumbest fucking line of print I have ever read in my life. And it was something you yourself instigated with "Cher's farewell tour has been here three times in Phoenix, how many times has she been to Philly?" That is the dumbest question. Whether some singer has done a farewell tour here more than once has nothing to do with our city, our culture or who we are.

On a last note, by saying "it's not like we founded these cities, we just live in them," well, this will be the only time I will agree with Don Russell -- the community makes the city of Phoenix what it is. We help in outlining a path to the future of our city, we don't just "live here." Maybe you just live here, but to me, I am home.

Name withheld by request

Food Fight

No soup for you!: Re: "She Is Not a Crook" (Spiked, July 24). Dug the article. Yes, it would have been more "tasteful" of RoxSand to inform her employees of her decision to leave the building, and a parting-of-ways party would have shown appreciation for their efforts as her staff. Her feelings were hurt?! Big deal! What about the feelings of a person showing up for work and discovering there is none?! C'mon, RoxSand -- take your licks!!!

Name withheld by request

Fight Club

Pride and prejudice: What irony. Cole Bailey Sr., with his prejudice toward Hispanics, sounds like exactly the sort of person who would have been an ideal recruitment prospect for the neo-Nazis, had they not murdered his son ("Skinhead Slayer," Susy Buchanan, July 17). These racist attitudes, all too common in the Valley, are what allow the skinheads to flourish. Yet Mr. Bailey seems completely oblivious to this. Hint to Mr. Bailey: If you really want to destroy the skinheads, work to destroy prejudice. Hint to the rest of us Anglos: Racism can hurt us, too, so we all better get together and create the kind of society in which all our children are safe from racism.

Steve Wallin

Guns and ammo: I read your article about Cole Bailey Jr.'s tragic murder. It's just another example of how far down our society has come that we don't just wipe vermin like Compton and his tribe from the face of the planet. They are simply cowards with limited intelligence who have become complete and utter failures in life, hurt or let down everyone who has ever loved them, and can no longer contribute anything good to this world.

One last request: I was wondering if Mr. Bailey Sr. needed someone to hold and reload one of his guns for him.

Art Wahlers

Media frenzy: I recall that Mark Klaas received no small amount of criticism when he seemed to enjoy the media spotlight a little too much after the abduction and murder of his daughter Polly. Cole Bailey Sr. seems to have taken this to a new, and far more disturbing, level.

Grieving satanic rock-star ordnance-packing Dad. I can smell the movie deal.

Please withhold my name. I don't want this nutcase siccing the Russian mob on me.

Name withheld by request

Vengeance is his: I just read your article on the death of Cole Bailey Jr. and I found myself going through a host of emotions. At first I was curious to know the facts because I recently moved to an apartment complex right across the street from River City Pockets. Then I was struck with sadness and confusion as to why this tragedy had to take place at all! As I read further and learned more about Cole and his father, I grew really angry that this kind of thing happened to such down-to-earth and nice people. I can really relate to Cole's feelings of rage and vengeance. I would feel the same if this happened to my family.

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