Cruel As Usual

He is the law: What I want to know is why somebody in the law enforcement world in Arizona doesn't bring Joe Arpaio and his band of criminal jail personnel to justice? At the top of your "Death Sentence" column (John Dougherty, March 16), it said, "So what else is new?" This couldn't be more true. How many times have we heard that Joe not only condones cruelty from his guards, but requires them to take the hard line?

Too many! The opening paragraphs of the story on jail victim Charles Agster made me cry. As a mother, this was just horrifying to read how they killed that boy. It made me want to slap the smug Arpaio across the mouth. As a sometimes resident of Arizona, my fondest hope is that somebody someday knocks that shit-eating grin off his face.

Can you imagine anybody being that callous?! Before I read the countless articles about Arpaio's "law-and-order" cruelty in your paper, I couldn't have imagined a public official (a much-beloved one by voters, at that) being so openly heartless.
Tina Dupree, Las Vegas

Or as much truth as we can get: "Death Sentence" was another great story by John Dougherty! It's refreshing to see that some of the Phoenix media can actually tell the truth about Joe!
Nancy Medlock (, Montrose, Colorado

Where men are men, and sheep are better off: I've read several of your articles about Old Joe. As an Arizona native it's embarrassing to have him on the long list of infamous Arizona black-eye politicians. I really think he is the worst. I know it's hard to beat former Governor Ev Mecham as the king of Arizona eyesores, but at least no other sorry Arizona politician has bragged about torturing the citizens he cares for.

Arizonans need to realize that Joe is sodomizing them, and that what he says is all green baloney. He will be his own undoing. Just stay on him! Maybe one day Arizona can be safe.
Pat Blackburn, via the Internet

Everybody else knows: I left Phoenix in 1993 and went to Georgia. All I ever heard on the news about Arizona concerned the antics of the inhumane sheriff in Phoenix. Years later, I moved back and was shocked to find that Phoenix still has the sheriff with no regard for human life.

I was shocked that voters have put up with this insane man and allowed him to do barbaric things for so long.

I hope that he fries in his own fish oil! That's putting it gently. What has happened to the Agsters' son should not be tolerated. Joe Arpaio needs to be impeached. Thrown out!

People all over the country laugh at Arizona because of old Joe Arpaio.

I was here when they impeached Ev Mecham for saying "pickaninny." Why do they let Arpaio train murderers and get away with it? Joe should be wearing pink. I think he already does!
Sharon J. Jones, Phoenix

'Round the Bend

Let the Gila begin: I was born and raised in Gila Bend, a town that your writer managed to say nothing but negative things about ("Gila Bound," John Dougherty, March 9).

I will be the first to tell you that our town is not filled [with] big buildings and brand-name companies. We don't have a Starbucks on every other corner for the yuppies to gather after their long days of sitting in cubicles. But what your writer doesn't know is that this is what makes our town attractive to so many people.

Violence here is almost nonexistent in comparison to Phoenix. Your writer mentioned one of our bars here in town, but he called it Beto's. It's Neto's. And I won't hesitate to tell you that he's right that it's seen its share of fights. But how is that any different from bars in Phoenix?

Unfortunately the writer failed to capture any of the positives about our town, including how we know our neighbors and how our children know all their classmates. The sheer fact of not being Phoenix is also an attraction for city dwellers who've moved here. Nobody's in a hurry. There are no traffic jams, drive-by shootings or choppers flying overhead at night. There is no smog.

For some people, city life is what they want. For others, the small town is the right place. I can't think of a better place to start a family and raise children than my town.
Eric Davis, Gila Bend

Phoenix isn't full yet: So now commuters are going to be driving in from Gila Bend? That's tragic. Why does Phoenix emulate L.A. and not San Francisco, or some civilized place?

How can there be enough water in this desert to build Phoenix suburbs that far out? Will somebody explain that to me?

Infill, infill, infill! There are so many vacant lots in Phoenix; why not build on them and stop the insanity of building outward?
Ted Thornton, Phoenix

Raving On

Exposed again: Wow! After reading your piece about Unity 06, I wonder if you've ever been to a party like this (Needle Exchange, Brendan Joel Kelley, March 16). I understand the context in which you wrote the article, but the over-emphasis on drugs and related stereotypes perpetuates our problem with people not understanding that it's really about the music!

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