Letters from the issue of Thursday, September 15, 2005

These whiny kids actually think the real downtown powers will permit them unrestricted stewardship over the newly conquered lands? And they really think that a handful of cops politely warning them about public consumption -- a crime that can lead to a beating or jail for a homeless person downtown -- amounts to oppression? Talk about naive.

When will the Phoenix arts community wake up and start supporting the struggles of poor and working-class people rather than facilitating their displacement? Will the scene ever wake up to its white privilege and start supporting people of color in Phoenix rather than acting as their willing executioners?

The suggestion of a new influx of artists into south Phoenix does not bode well. I hope residents send them packing.
Brian Tomasi, Tempe

They like us; they really like us: I really liked your First Friday article. I'm trying to get my jewelry business off the ground and this kind of information is really helpful. My dad is a painter, and he liked the story, as well.
Emily Somers, Phoenix

Beauty Context

Words apart: With regard to Sarah Fenske's story about the Miss Arizona Pageant ("Farewell My Lovelies," September 1), I never made the statements attributed to me.

I did not say that learning about the history and culture of Arizona was too much work for the contestants. What I did say was that working on two platforms, personal and state (whatever the topics) is difficult for busy titleholders/college students.

In addition, I said that if there will be no state platform next year, why would the Riches [Monica, pageant state executive director, and Steve, Miss Arizona CEO] accept $2,000 from anyone for a state platform scholarship?

I never said that it is sad that the pageant had to turn down Forever Living's $2,000. What I did say was that it is sad that we will not be working with Forever Living in the future. Everyone in the Miss Arizona organization has the highest respect for Forever Living and will miss it.

Out of courtesy, I agreed to be interviewed by Sarah; I would think that out of courtesy, she would report my comments in context.
Nanci Wudel, Miss Arizona board member, Mesa

Editor's note: New Times stands by the reporting in this story.

Angela's Bashes

Okay, here's one: I appreciate that you put my letter in the Letters section ("Homegrown Talent," September 1) and also chose to include one tiny paragraph [actually, it was three paragraphs] from Tiffe Fermaint in support of me (("A Positive Influence," September 1).

I know you received way more letters from people who support me than you did from people who do not [actually, we got more non-supportive letters]. How come you chose to print more letters from the people who do not support me, then? Four to one, to be exact [actually, it was four letters to two published in that issue of New Times, including one extremely long rant from this letter-writer].

This is tilting the scales to your benefit, which is unfair reporting.

Was your original article that bashed me not enough for you ("Angela's Ashes," August 18)? Must you continue to do so? Why couldn't you try to at least be fair by accurately representing the feedback that you got from this by putting more letters that support me? Is it because you do not want the public to know that your original story was B.S.?

Are you just trying to purposefully ruin my career, my livelihood, my self-esteem, my drive? What did I ever do to you to deserve this? I am a mother and a hard-working person who does my very best to do everything I can to help other people and be a good person. Why do I deserve to be portrayed like this? How do you sleep at night?

I want you to know that you have hurt me. Yeah, I've acted strong through this whole thing -- like you can't hurt me. But you have. You've made me cry and feel insecure and not want to continue doing what I love to do. You've made me feel horrible. Should I quit? Should I throw away everything I have worked so hard for? Is that what you are trying to get me to do? If I do, you can bet it will be because of you.

I don't know how you can live with yourselves being that mean.
Angela Johnson, founder, LabelHorde, Scottsdale

Arms and the Boys

We need a scholar, not a belly-itcher: Thanks for the great article on the hazards of being a competitive baseball dad ("Hardball," Robert Nelson, August 25). My wife thought what you described sounded a lot like me, so she made me read it.

As the father of a Paradise Valley North Little League All-Star, who also plays travel ball year-round, this article definitely hit home. After countless hours working on my son's swing, throwing, fielding etc. -- and paying for private lessons, too -- I've also felt like my head would explode when he's had a bad at-bat!

And I have had to bite my tongue many times (mainly because my wife makes me) after games. We have been lucky, though, because when I haven't been my son's coach, he has had coaches who did not abuse his talents.

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