Letters

Letters from the week of March 31, 2005

There is nothing that Russell Pearce is doing that contradicts the First Amendment. The First Amendment protects the freedom of speech, not the freedom of public funds to promote your personal speech.

Mr. Dougherty made mention of a photo of a pierced female nipple that appeared in the paper. He failed to mention that it covered an entire page. I found it to be a tasteless photograph for an article about body piercing. I was offended by it, as were many of my friends (both LDS and non-religious alike).

Now, I am not saying that the State Press cannot print that. What I am saying -- and what I believe Representative Pearce is saying -- is that my grandmother should not have to pay her taxes to promote that type of publication. It is bad enough that my tuition money goes to support it.

I find it ridiculous that Dougherty accuses Representative Pearce of pandering to his constituency. That is his job! He is a politician! Although some may not believe it, the power to govern still lies in the hands of the people, and we expect our elected leaders to do what we ask of them. Would it not make sense, then, that a state representative from the East Valley would show some propensity to act along the beliefs of his Mormon electorate?
Thomas Bogle, ASU marketing and communications student

Keep telling it like it is:Right on regarding "Religious Wrong"! Thank you for telling it like it really is. I'm afraid this breaking down of the separation of church and state because of conservative/religious-right/Mormon-think will get worse before it gets better.

We must be ever diligent and support a free press! Thanks for exposing these lawmakers' biased agendas.
J. C. Wilde, via the Internet

HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL

Jewish wanna-be won't do: Don't we have enough Holocaust memorials in this country?! I know about Bill Tonneson, and I know that -- even if another memorial has got to be built in Phoenix -- he is not the person to do it ("Illusions of Grandeur," Sarah Fenske, March 17). He is exclusionary, and somebody like this cannot bring in all the notions of what a Holocaust monument should be. Also, he may be a Jew wanna-be, but he cannot even remotely feel the pain of the Jewish people about what happened in the camps.
Nathan Feld, via the Internet

About that story on me: Three clarifications regarding your "Illusions of Grandeur" cover article:

• Ramps in the memorial lead down into an empty room, but it measures 40 feet wide by 40 feet deep by 40 feet tall. The 16-by-16-foot dimension is the opening in the roof (ergo the pantheon reference), not the room itself.

• The work on and in Dale Dacquisto's house was not done by my company or by me. The work was done by a mutual friend of Dacquisto's and myself. He did the work himself (physically), including framing, electrical and roofing. We did the site work.

• The Marcia Sebold lawsuit was settled with the payment of $22,500. We both took a bath on attorney fees.
Bill Tonnesen, Tempe

Sarah Fenske responds: Our story indeed misstated the size of the room at the bottom of the memorial. Regarding point two, the person who did much of the work inside Dale Dacquisto's house was then an employee of Tonnesen Inc., as numerous memos from the company reveal. The building permit lists Tonnesen Inc. as the contractor, and both Tonnesen and his employees were actively involved on the site. About the employee's being a mutual friend, the reader can be the judge. Dacquisto and his partner only met him after hiring Tonnesen's firm for their project. As for point three, Tonnesen is kind to supply the size of the Sebold settlement since he specifically refused to discuss it in a March 10 telephone interview.

He's an icon of creativity:We thought the article on Bill Tonneson presented some mixed reviews of Bill's past work as a landscape architect and artist and didn't present a fair assessment of his current projects.

The article read as an attempt by New Times to derail Bill's involvement with the Holocaust Memorial. It seems that the survivors love his concept and that they have every right to make Bill's concept for their Memorial a reality without interference from New Times.

It is unfortunate that New Times chose to focus on the relationships Bill has had that did not turn out so well. New Times could have focused on his many successes, such as Bill's project at Empire Southwest.

It was an unfair characterization to say that Bill had failed to realize his art goals. Bill's stated goal was to get a one-man show at a respected art gallery within a year. Bill accomplished this with a one-man show at Chiaroscuro Gallery and wrote a book about it at the same time. When did it become a character flaw to aspire to become one of the top artists in the world? Aren't artists supposed to dream?

New Times was incorrect to say that art directors come mostly from advertising and not from among artists. Obviously, the writer was not aware of the way many major artists in today's art world, and throughout art history, have functioned. Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons and Christo are all artists who are art directors of their work.

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