Letters

Letters from the week of November 20, 2003

Limitless Potential

Indy rocks: Your article about downtown Phoenix was very informative ("Sorry, We're Closed," Paul Kix, November 6). It brings out a lot of good points about what is needed as far as support services and entertainment for living, working and playing in downtown. Having lived in downtown Indianapolis from 1987 to 1994 when that city was going through a renaissance, as well as seeing what they have done since we moved to Phoenix, I can appreciate what you have described about the "chicken and egg" theory.

One of the premier events that helped downtown Indianapolis get on the right path was the opening of an O'Malia's grocery within three blocks of a 224-unit condominium complex developed by Borns, two-story quads with one- or two-car garages, patios, and balconies. It was the suburbs, built in downtown Indy. From our condo, it was a seven-block walk to The Circle. My wife and I loved living that close to the trendy nightlife that was cropping up when we first moved there and kept on improving ever since. Now, there are many more condo and apartment complexes close to downtown, many of which are within walking distance of Conseco Fieldhouse.

I should point out that the O'Malia's stores are on a par with AJ's, not Albertsons or Food City. The people who want to live in a revitalized downtown are those who want quality in their home, and they want convenience that they are willing to pay for. That doesn't mean that the home must cost $500,000. It does mean that the residents don't want to feel as though they are confined in their cell, because to venture outside they must deal with panhandlers.

My wife and I have seen many similarities between Phoenix and Indianapolis since moving here, beyond never changing our clocks for Daylight Savings Time. We hope that we'll see similar changes that improve downtown Phoenix. We love where we are living near the North Phoenix Mountains Preserve, but we would enjoy moving to a revitalized downtown Phoenix.

Steven Capes
Phoenix

Catch the vibe: I just finished reading your recent article about downtown businesses. I agree with you and feel very strongly about the need for a vibrancy downtown. Two and a half years ago, I bought a great loft in Artisan's first project, 9th and Osborn. My company's biggest trade show of the year is this March downtown. Physicians and executives will be coming from all over the country and the world, and I'm embarrassed that they'll have nowhere to eat/play downtown. I'm already making plans for nights out in Scottsdale and the Biltmore area. It's a shame. The 1 a.m. liquor law certainly doesn't help, either. Anything that I can do to help fill in the downtown "doughnut," please let me know.

Shane Brown
Phoenix

Religious Write

Jewry case: Why was it necessary for Amy Silverman, one of your distinctly talented and informative writers, to use the following sentence on page 20, October 30 issue ("Legally Brown"):

"Many years earlier, another Jew who would go on to make it much bigger in the movies attended Arcadia."

Ms. Silverman did not identify the religious heritage of Amanda Brown's parents, nor did she identify the heritage of Justin Chang (Amanda Brown's husband).

Is New Times losing its objectivity? Or is New Times embarking on an ethnic approach to feature writing, an approach sure to heighten and intensify private passions in a disguised attempt to be presenting newsworthy information?

H. Muller
Phoenix

Arty Facts

The Peter principle: Peter Petrisko, did you just say that ("Art for Pete's Sake," Speakeasy, Robrt L. Pela, November 6)?! I mean that in a good way. It helps restore my faith in the Phoenix arts community to know an artist with your perception exists. My latest disgust is the fear-based cutting-edge style floating around. Welcome back. Give us "danger." Thank you, Robrt Pela, for the great interview.

Darlene Washington
Phoenix

The Human Stain

West side story: I fail to see the hoopla concerning the Paradise Valley police investigating Okeme Oziwo and Matt Lyons ("Ice Creamed," Robert Nelson, October 30).

Oziwo and Lyons were far safer than had they gone to a Baskin-Robbins on the west side -- in a predominantly black/Hispanic area.

Second, why does Paradise Valley need black cops? Phoenix has a black police chief, yet most of their cops are white. Why isn't there recruitment specifying "white officers"?

If it weren't for the white police officers in Paradise Valley, the area would become what the rest of the state and major cities have become -- a battleground for black/Hispanic gangs and drug pushers.

Kurtis C. Wolf
Glendale

Prison Reform

If you build it, they will come: I've been keeping up on the issues regarding the prison system, overcrowding and sentencing guidelines reform ("Clink!" Robert Nelson, October 23). I have some concerns when it comes to the "Let's just build more prisons" mentality. It seems that overcrowding is an issue that needs immediate attention. It takes a minimum of a year to build a new prison, and even then, given the current state the system is in now, it will be filled before it is even done and we're right back where we started.

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