Letters

Letters from the issue of Thursday, July 28, 2005

In God We Trust?

What Jesus would do: How could Serrano's fire this good Christian woman? Even the federal government argued that what the restaurant chain did was wrong. Yet Terra Naeve finds herself in financial wrack and ruin ("The Last Supper," Sarah Fenske, July 21).

The argument doesn't hold that Serrano's had to do what it did, so that employees wouldn't feel pressured. This is about religion, not sex. It's one thing to sexually harass somebody, and another to ask them if they want to attend Bible study. And, if I remember your story right, Terra Naeve didn't even ask them, they asked her about her beliefs.

This just seems like a terrible miscarriage of justice. If the Serranos were the good Christians they think they are (remember, Catholics are Christians, too), then they wouldn't be able to sleep at night because of the position they have put Terra in.

I hope that U.S. District Judge Earl Carroll overturns the jury's decision (this would be what Jesus would do), and if he doesn't, that Terra wins on appeal.
Manda Mackey, via the Internet

A welcome policy: It amazes me how your article titled "The Last Supper" so quickly takes sides. The Serrano's policy is a healthy and good one. The lack of such a policy -- and strict enforcement of it -- is what leads to children being molested by pastors, youth workers and so on.

The former Serrano's manager is not the victim here. The victim is the business that sought to protect employees from abuse, and now is being attacked for its position.

As an educator in Creating Safe Workplaces, Serrano's policy should be welcomed -- and maybe there are a few "ministers" who could learn something from it!
Rob Frier, Phoenix

Working in mysterious ways: My eyes welled up with tears when I read the story of Terra Naeve. She seems like such a good person. It's true that bad things happen to good people.

But she doesn't seem to feel that what has happened to her -- from her firing to the jury verdict against her in her lawsuit -- was bad because she was doing the Lord's work.

The ending of your story was moving. That she felt that helping the co-worker and her family find Christ was worth it, Terra said. I couldn't stop the tears from flowing when I read that.

Who knows? Maybe one of the children of the co-worker she put on the road to salvation will become a great religious leader someday. Then, God's plan will be revealed.
Carol McKenzie, Phoenix

Nail Biting

Alien nation: Your story on the Vietnamese nail salons doesn't surprise me ("Foot in the Door," Lynh Bui, July 14). I've been to a few, and their cleanliness leaves something to be desired. I sure liked saving all that money, compared to anything else around, but I will never go to another one after reading your story.

All this, I think, plays into the immigration argument. Here's another minority group on our shores that we don't need. I don't want to sound like a racist, but how many of these nail salon workers are illegal aliens? The discussion about illegals is always about Mexicans and people from Central and South America. Why are Vietnamese and other Asian immigrants exempt?

I think the INS should start raiding these places, not to mention some massage parlors I've read about. I'd bet they will find plenty of people to deport back to their own countries.
Rene Fitch, Phoenix

A rough life: First we go to their country and meddle where we have no damn business. We ravage the place, and then leave them high and dry. (Our soldiers certainly had a good time impregnating Vietnamese women while they were there, and then leaving them and their children to deal with the Communists.)

Then when Vietnamese immigrants darken our door in America, we have little to offer them except working in places like nail salons.

Come on, God-fearing Americans, these people have had it hard! It took guts for them to come here. Imagine coming across the world to do shit jobs that few U.S. citizens would do. Give them a break and don't insult them with lame articles like "Foot in the Door," because all this does is make us look bad over here.
William Reimer, Glendale

Mixed signals: I found your "Foot in the Door" article very hard to follow. What am I supposed to think about this? That Vietnamese nail salons are bad because a couple of people got toe rot after going to one of them? Or that what the workers are saying at the salons about patrons is bad, wrong? That is, how dare these workers criticize obnoxious customers?!

As for me, I found what these women were saying about cheap customers with fat, stinky feet pretty funny. In fact, that was the best part of the story. As for whether these stingy old ladies get terminal fungus at these places, I couldn't care less. That's what they deserve for trying to get something for nothing.
El Larson, Phoenix

Talking trash: Very entertaining story by Lynh Bui on the Vietnamese nail salons. I love that the nail technicians talk trash about their obnoxious customers, who are only there to save a dollar. Working on people's feet is no picnic. The technicians deserve to have their fun. Nice writing job!
Cuong Nguyen, Glendale

Remember where you came from: Who is this writer Lynh Bui? How can she put down her own people so badly? Not all nail technicians are like what New Times described. You are making us all look bad.

Lynh, did you forget where you came from? I've had a hard life -- 31 years without parents, no family at all in the United States. I came here on a banana boat. My parents got pushed overboard. I was 4 years old when that happened. But I've never forgotten where I came from. Vietnam is my birth country, and the Vietnamese people are my people.

So a word to you, Lynh: Remember where you came from, and stop talking about something (working in a nail salon) that you obviously know nothing about!
Thuy, Phoenix

Have some compassion: I found your story on the nail salons mean. These are hardworking people who have no choice but to work where they do. Now New Times has probably brought the health department down on them, and most of them are above reproach. Sure, there may be a few bad apples, but I found your story an indictment of the whole industry.

Your writer, Lynh Bui, should be ashamed of herself. Her name sounds as if she's of Vietnamese extraction; she should have more compassion for people who, probably like some of her relatives, had to struggle on first coming to America.
Taddie Moore, Phoenix

Doubting Thomas

Machine gunning: I voted for Andrew Thomas because I thought he had guts -- and scruples. Then the first highly publicized things he does are declining to press charges against a vigilante who pulls a gun on some innocent people at a rest stop, and deciding that he hasn't enough evidence to go after the scoundrels in the Maricopa County Elections Department ("All Bark and No Bite," John Dougherty, July 14).

Folks, the elections department doesn't get to decide not to fix voting-machine problems when such a huge error is discovered! An 18 percent increase in the number of votes tallied in a particular race, between the primary and the general election, is a whopping error. What John Dougherty caught the elections people doing -- trying to fool a judge about what happened -- is scandalous!

Knowing the extent of this and doing nothing makes it apparent that Thomas, after only a few months, has turned into a gutless politician out to protect his own political butt.
Steve Rice, Phoenix

Two stooges: Is Maricopa County government a snake pit, or what? There's our fool of a sheriff, Joe Arpaio, and if that isn't bad enough, there's Andrew Thomas. And now we find out that -- on top of these two stooges -- there's the Maricopa County Elections Department.

How can Thomas let elections chief Karen Osborne get away with what happened? Trying to pull the wool over a judge's eyes so he won't make the department look bad right before the general election? That's unbelievable! And then Thomas sees nothing prosecutable about this?

Why would he try to protect the department? As John Dougherty wrote, because Osborne's boss [County Recorder Helen Purcell] is a fellow big-time county Republican.

This voting-machine problem makes me wonder how many other elections were fouled up in this county. Wonder if Sheriff Joke actually won that last primary election, for instance. Maybe there was a huge screw-up there, too?
Name withheld by request

See no evil: I can't believe that Andrew Thomas would see nothing wrong with what Karen Osborne and her elections department did to tamper with an election! No, on second thought, I can believe it; after all, the elections department's part of that fool's asylum called Maricopa County government!

Guess there's no hope that Andy will everprosecute Joe Arpaio for the sheriff's many atrocities. You guys at New Times may as well give up on ever getting Joe out of office for his multitude of sins now that Thomas is around to protect him. Isn't everything just perfect?!
Name withheld by request

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