Letters from the issue of Thursday, August 25, 2005

Second, your article mentions over and over that the YWCA report is racist and anti-Semitic. The report talks about "a group of Israelis." Israel is a country. How did this leap to racism happen?
Nicholas Collins, Phoenix

Freaks and Geeks

Investigate this: Step right up and see "Baby Man" (Joe Watson, June 9)! And in this ring: Big, Beautiful Women Who Go Clubbing ("Full Bloom," Inferno, Stephen Lemons, July 28)! Now, be sure not to miss Drag Kings ("The Man Show," Niki D'Andrea, August 11)!

Who's on deck? Elvis Impersonators and the Llamas That Love Them?

You've had a lot of good investigative pieces lately. Too bad they're routinely overshadowed by stories about entertaining characters, and the articles you've been promoting on your covers have been good.

I guess I just wish that John Dougherty articles were always your cover stories.
Stacy Holmstedt, Mesa

Bench Press

Fear and loathing in public officials: Oh my God, it just keeps getting scarier and scarier! Now we read in horror of Superior Court Judge Michael D. Jones' refusal to see the facts in New Times' lawsuit against Sheriff Joe Arpaio ("Histrionics Lesson," John Dougherty, August 11).

Can't the people of Arizona see this for what it is? Is every politician and government agency that afraid of going against Arpaio? This fear on the part of public officials is scarier than the crap Arpaio is getting away with. Isn't there a county attorney, an attorney general or a governor in Arizona who has the backbone to say enough is enough?

New Times, please don't give up your fight! Appeal your case to the highest courts. Sooner or later you'll have to come across an honest and fearless judge or government official who will do the right thing. Do it for your sake and for the sake of every citizen in Arizona.
Jim Davolt, Phoenix

Flouting the law: John Dougherty is one of the last investigative reporters on Earth who truly investigates! He doesn't let Sheriff Joke off with the quick canned answers that he loves to throw at the public.

How is it that Arpaio can get away with such blatant disregard for not only the law that he is sworn to uphold but those he is sworn to protect? Can we pose this question to those who let him operate with impunity, like the Superior Court judge who allowed Joke to sidestep the law?

That is a very black-and-white view, but isn't that where we are at this point? People are dying in Arpaio's jails! Do we have that little value for a human life?

Thank goodness for people like John Dougherty -- people who have the guts to stand up to the Joke Machine and, more important, the willingness to stand up again and again after the less than warm reception he keeps receiving.

I'm 31 years old, and I haven't had the pleasure of being inside any of the good sheriff's establishments. I had never voted in my life before this past election. I thought for sure that Joke would be ousted, that it would be the end of him. What do we have to do to get someone else in there?!

I read your paper every Thursday; it's now the only local paper that I do read. The rest of them seem like they are just filling the space. There is no heart in their work. No fire. You are the best!
Jerry Bailey, Glendale

The view from within: The Arizona Republic recently published that the Maricopa County jails, under Sheriff Joe, collected about $11 million last year in commissary and phone charges, and that slightly less than half of that amount was spent on "inmate enrichment."

Whatever happened to the other half? I'd like to say that I spent 60 days in the Estrella Jail, and I saw no enrichment. Neither did the about 100 other guys in my jail dorm.

"Church" consisted of one hour a week when somebody told us that if we didn't accept Jesus, we'd rot in hell. "Recreation" consisted of an hour twice a week outside in a concrete yard with nothing. The Hispanic guys would play soccer with a rolled-up ball of socks. The two meals a day contained no vegetables and one piece of fruit. The commissary food was no better; the commissary sells high-salt/high-fat junk food only.

One fellow had severe abdominal pain for 36 hours before he was taken to a hospital for perforated ulcers. The jails in Phoenix are like Abu Ghraib!
Name withheld by request

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