By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
Traveling man: Congratulations on a most excellent piece of writing! It's not often these days one gets to read such a well-thought-out, well-researched and well-presented study. You had my undivided attention all the way to the end.
I live in Canada, but have visited Arizona many, many times (and will many more times), and have extensively traveled the subject territories in your article. And your writing helped me see and better understand issues going on there.
Poor service: Kudos to you on your review ("Dying on the Vine," Cafe, Stephen Lemons, January 22)! I agree with you 100 percent. During my first and only visit to Ken Cheuvront's establishment during a First Friday, I found the service to be dreadful. Sitting on one of the couches with a friend of mine, who is a personal friend of Ken's, and whose father is a retired state legislator, we had to ask to be served, only to receive the service with hesitation. On top of that, we had to chase down the check and wait further upon our request for the check. Living downtown, I desperately want this establishment to be successful. I will try Ken's place again, but at this point, I prefer Postino's.
Frightful experience: Great review! When I moved here seven years ago from Washington, D.C., I was frightened by the lack of places to go, as well as the lack of most to realize the cultural/gastronomic hole they were in. I criticized the homemade pizza place we waited two hours to get into, to be excessively charged and badly treated (Pizzeria Bianco), but quickly realized that since I moved here by myself in this company of Midwestern strangers, I'd best keep my opinions to myself and wait patiently for Phoenix to ever so slowly evolve. I haven't even read a review in the past few years, I've just tagged along to places with my local friends to the "hippest" new places. I stumbled upon your column by accident and will make it a regular thing. Thanks!
Just normal kids: Your article on IB elitism was not only misinformed and poorly written, it was downright offensive ("Brainiacs," Jimmy Magahern, January 15). The IB program at the school I attend is made up of mostly regular and above-average students who were forced into the program by their parents. A lot of these students do homework far more than five hours a day and many of them are depressed and suicidal. To characterize them as brainy and elite who are always having a good, albeit dorky, time, is not correct because most of them don't even want to be in the program and are normal kids but feel they need to because of their parents or pushy counselors. There are the occasional brainy mean kids, but they make up such a small portion of the program it's usually unnoticed. Next time you write an article about the evils of IB, focus more on how the program is bad and not the students. We are just normal kids trying to fit into the hardships of high school.
The "in" crowd: I just finished reading your article on the International Baccalaureate program. I am a graduate of the North High IB program and I had a few thoughts on your writing. I feel you did not honestly give a good representation of the program. So many of the students who are enrolled in the program are not "brainiacs" but hard workers who wish to achieve a higher education. Many of the students could not afford college (such as myself) without the program giving them the opportunity for scholarships or tuition waivers. If you did more research, you would have found that in last year's graduating class, the star quarterback of the football team was IB, the first chairs in band were IB, as well as the fastest swimmers, best volleyball players, soccer, track, baseball, softball and artists. IB students are the most diverse crowd on campus. The International Baccalaureate program is one of the best programs public schools have to offer. There is no reason an article should be printed about elitism. I am sorry if you were not allowed the chance to be in a program of such a high regard, but please do not take that out on everyone who does.
Junior achievement: What a shame that in today's world, when we are all concerned with underachieving kids and schools, New Times would publish an article that is written in a childish and petulant manner that denigrates children who are engaged, active, involved and are trying to do what is right. The tone of the article is childish and mean, calling these children names like "geek" and making fun of their appearance and interests. The sad intent of the article seems to be not only to make fun of students who want to do well in school, but to cause divisiveness among various groups on campuses. The use of racial stereotyping in the article was especially repugnant.