By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
Jake the snake: After reading the story about Roy "Jake" Jacobsen and his comments regarding the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, I was appalled ("PLEA Bargain?" Paul Rubin, September 25).
First, police officers put themselves in terrible danger every day just by coming to work. They never know what is going to happen and what they might be forced to deal with for the sake of the safety of people they don't even know. We should all have the highest respect for them and want only the best equipment and vehicles available to them. We owe this to them and their families.
Unfortunately, officers do die in the line of duty. However, there is no excuse for their death or injury being the result of a poorly designed gas tank. Ford should be ashamed of itself. Jake Jacobsen should be worried for his own safety instead of being a pitchman for Ford. He should be worried about the safety of his brothers and sisters on the force. He should be thinking about the day that this could happen to him.
The fact that he decided to absorb the cost of the trip after his return only says that he was covering his ass after seeing the outrage of his fellow officers. Maybe he has seen the error of his trip to New York, but he should still step down from his position in PLEA. PLEA is supposed to be there to represent the officers. Clearly, Jacobsen is only there to represent Ford.
We would never accept the death of 16 officers and the injury of several more from a criminal. That is a serial killer. Why should we accept this from a car?
Slaughterhouse jive: Thanks for writing this article on farm animals ("The Veal Deal," Speakeasy, Robrt L. Pela, September 25). It is so very important to educate the public about the outrageous abuse of power going on in slaughterhouses -- all for profit! Little is known about the enormity of pain inflicted on animals so we can have our five minutes of pleasure.
Thanks again, and keep up this important work.
Vegging out: The issues of vegetarianism and farm animal abuse are often overlooked in our typical "Arizona cowboy" red-meat-eating culture. Despite the blasé and sarcastic attitude of the reporter, Kari Nienstedt stood her ground firmly and does a phenomenal job representing the issues at hand. The exposure of animal abuse on farms and in many other arenas is long overdue in our carnivorously barbaric culture. It's about time that we wake up and realize there's a connection between the way we treat living things on our planet and what we eat!
More of the Best
Local hero: Thanks again for the Best of Phoenix edition (September 18). Always a pleasure! Although Pat Tillman may not actually qualify under the category of Best Pro Athlete, I still say he is the best pro athlete in that he had the balls to leave his sport and join the Army to fight for what he believes in. A truly exemplary sportsman, especially in light of the bad behavior seen in many other pro athletes.
Going coconuts: Things are picking up here thanks in large part to all of you. But, even though I'm pressed for time, I'd like to write to thank all of the editors of New Times and whoever else is involved in the voting for the Best of Phoenix, for selecting us as the Best Drive-Through Fast Food. All of us here were so surprised and amazed that in only six months of operations, a simple guy from Hawaii could be distinguished from all the other great restaurants in Phoenix. All of us here at Coconut Joe's are amazed and humbled. We will continue to try to improve to better service the Phoenix community.
Owner, Coconut Joe's
The Big L: New Times says that KFYI-AM 550 talk radio host Charles Goyette labels himself as a conservative and a Republican. Maybe, but his true leanings are toward constitutionalism at least and more likely Big-L Libertarianism.
Goyette is not alone on the AM dial in opposing the Iraq war. Noontime host Ernie Hancock on KFNX-AM 1100 is against the war, too. Not coincidentally, Hancock is a Big-L Libertarian as well. That is not to say that they are pacifists. Both Goyette and Hancock have no philosophical problem with owning enough small arms to equip a small Central American country. They are, after all, Libertarians.
Mex and match: I have noticed that your annual Best of Phoenix supplement is evolving into something nearly the mass of the metro Phoenix telephone directory. I might recommend you edit the categories so that not every business in the Valley is pigeonholed somewhere in its body: Best "Az-Mex," "Tex-Mex," "New Mex Mex," "Gourmet Mex."
I gather from some of the humorous headings that there is an intention to enlighten Phoenicians to visit otherwise overlooked landmarks. Perhaps this effort would be better served in a weekly column. The Best Of issue has become so tiresome and overwhelming that it is a shame such effort went into producing it. I would be happy to discuss offering my services in spearheading a weekly enlightenment column.