Letters from the week of February 19, 2004

Being an upright and decent citizen is almost an invitation nowadays for attacks such as this. I pray there is a God and in the end the truth will be rewarded and the lies will also be recognized for eternity. I am still shaking my head, but I give credit to this young man and his wife, Jill. They have been to hell and back.

Wayne C. Wood
Newington, New Hampshire

Judgment day: I couldn't stop reading this story today while at work. I believe Shawn Dirks' story and feel that Lori Levinson is a crazy, messed-up liar. It is a tragedy that this happened to the Dirkses just as it seemed to them that everything in their life together was falling into place. I hope that your article stirs up something, brings this story to the attention of many others, and justice is finally served.

This woman cannot be allowed to continue to falsely accuse anyone else of this type of crime. People accused of sex crimes are rarely able to recover and go on with their lives as they were before.

I do not recall hearing about this story when it happened. I hope to hear, someday soon, about how all wrongs in this case were put right.

P.J. Sauter

From Sweet to Sour
Not taking any crap: I'm a longtime reader of New Times and have always enjoyed the dining reviews. Lately there seems to be a trend of abusive reviews (which I notice were all Stephen Lemons'), with the fish and chips review a prime example of this ("Bottom Feeding," February 12). I'm not questioning Mr. Lemons' judgment, but surely it's not necessary to use the word "crap" in the same article that describes food I might one day want to eat.

In general, the tone of the article was very rude and condescending. For example: "But anyone who eats at Pete's more than once of their own accord is a bloody imbecile." I'm sure I speak for many readers when I say, bring back a reviewer of the caliber of Carey Sweet who was able to review restaurants -- even bad ones -- in a professional manner.

Sharon Shindel
Via e-mail

For Pete's sake: I had the unfortunate opportunity to read your article on fish and chips places in the Valley. I am so surprised by the evaluations of the restaurants you chose. It seems strange to compare fast-food fish and chips with sit-down, full-service seafood restaurants. It's quite obvious which will come out on top. Do you actually get paid to tell your readers that fine dining tastes better than fast food?

I am confused, and the more I read the article, the more confused I become. I am a fan of Pete's Fish and Chips. While it might not be your idea of good seafood, it is greatly appreciated by those who enjoy it in its proper context -- a cheaply priced, family-run fast-food restaurant. I enjoy the food, the casual picnic tables, the outdoor setting and, yes, even the absence of ketchup. According to your article, this makes me an imbecile.

I greatly resent this evaluation. Pete's needs to be critiqued in its context -- greasy, cheap, casual fast food. This place is a community landmark. It is more than oysters and French fries. It is a family-run business you've maliciously attacked. You don't like the food, fine, but you've gone too far to compare it to a crack den, to attack the lack of ambiance, to say you wanted to puke in the parking lot -- are you kidding me?

In the future, I would appreciate evaluations of apples to apples. This is completely amateur and absolutely over the top. Your ability to fairly critique a restaurant is completely undermined by your inability to put everything in context. It doesn't take an expert to know Taco Bell isn't as good as Mi Amigos. Please consider this in your future reviews.

Sunshine Wright

Wine dining: I enjoyed reading your review of The Steakhouse on Central and especially liked your comments on the wine ("Cursed . . . ," Stephen Lemons, February 5). I have always felt wine is part of the dining experience but don't see many critics warn customers of what is coming with dinner. It is especially hard to tell with indies. Chains you know pour supermarket wine, and it is disappointing to see indies doing the same. They owe it to themselves and patrons to be open-minded and not afraid to support smaller wineries.

Keep letting us know what they're pouring.

Sandy Wasserman

Hip-Hop Is Life
The real deal: I really enjoyed how you portrayed Cut Throat Logic as a group of people who are living life as they see fit ("Cutting Through," Christopher O'Connor, February 5). It gets into some of the personal triumphs and tragedies that shaped their lives. Life that we relate to. I also like the way it's written honestly and with an understanding of this ever-evolving culture that most Phoenicians thumb their noses at.

Hip-hop is very much alive in Arizona. People want hip-hop: black, Latinos, white or Native American. I thought this article gave justice to some of our Valley youths, who dream of something more in life and like to express it in their own way. There are so many creative musicians and artists in this state, I know because I have known lots of DJs and graffiti artists such as, for example, DJ Z-Trip and the Tempe Bronx Crew that put Tempe on the map as far as hip-hop.

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